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Drugs in the Pacific


The following recently appeared in the Samoa Observer newspaper:
"Our Tongan neighbours went to the polls last week,amid a pandemic and a worse than predicted downturn in the nations already battered economy another issue was front of voters minds - the scourge of hard drugs,

Only through good fortune and vigilance have we avoided the Kingdom's fate. But news that the Cabinet has suspended the procurement process for Samoa's first X-ray scanner for incoming freight is a setback that draws us closer to such a fate.

That the Government is poring over the specifics of tenders represents a welcome and applaudable  change in the culture of Government.

But this does not change the reality that Samoa lies at the dead centre of an international  criminal highway, between major drug producers in Southeast Asia and South America and the highly lucrative drug markets in Australia and New Zealand. We have some deterrents in the form of drug sniffing dogs at Faleolo Airport but they are clearly not enough.

That adequate preparations had not been made for the X-ray scanner mare than two years in the planning is simply unacceptable. Securing our nation's borders is essential not just for the prevention of crime but the corrosion of our culture".

We comment that this surely is a project that NZODA should contribute cash toward, as stopping Pacific drug drop off points is clearly in New Zealand's self interest as well as that of Samoa.

Drugs in the Pacific

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