14 Apr 2020

Fiji police arrest more Covid-19 restriction breachers, including one of their own

7:35 pm on 14 April 2020

Fiji police continue to struggle with people breaching the government's Covid-19 restrictions with 117 arrests made in the last 24 hours, including a police officer who failed to adhere to social gathering restrictions.

The police officer was arrested after he was found playing rugby on Sunday with a group of youths in Waila.

Fiji's Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho

Fiji's Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho Photo: Fijian Government

Commissioner of Police, Sitiveni Qiliho, said the arrest was disappointing and the officer concerned would also face internal disciplinary procedures.

The arrest marked the third of an officer for breaching restrictions this month.

The arrests come after more than 300 were made over the weekend.

Mr Qiliho said a worrying trend over the last 24 hour period was the number of youth arrested for both curfew and social gathering breaches.

Of the 117 arrests, 28 were juveniles.

The commissioner reminded parents and guardians they needed to keep a closer watch on their children and be aware of their whereabouts at all times.

The nationwide curfew hours were from 8pm to 5am.

Bula FM broadcaster arrested

Meanwhile a 24-year-old radio announcer from a national broadcaster was refused bail by the Suva Magistrates Court, over allegations she used her social media platform to call on people to stone vehicles during curfew.

Alisi Koroi had been charged with one count breaching Fiji's Public Order Act. If the allegation stuck, the Bula FM announcer faced up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $US440.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Ravi Kumar objected to bail, saying Koroi was a public figure with a large social media following.

Mr Kumar said police were risking their lives to protect the public and said the alleged comments on Ms Koroi's Facebook page disturbed the public peace.

Her case has been adjourned to 20 April.