FIJI PRISON TRAINEES TEST POSITIVE FOR DRUGS

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun/PINA, Feb. 13) - Seven trainee prison officers have tested positive to using marijuana following an investigation into drug use.

The seven were among 20 new recruits undergoing a three-month training session at the Prisons Training School at the Naboro prison complex near Suva late last year.

A reliable source said Prison Service officers had suspected that some recruits were smoking marijuana.

The training school's officers ordered a snap urine check for all the new recruits and the samples were sent to Koronivia Research Station for analysis.

When contacted yesterday, training school commandant Assistant Superintendent Waliki Satakala confirmed the matter. However, he did not want to elaborate.

Mr Satakala referred all other queries to Superintendent Isikeli Tamani. When contacted Mr Tamani said he was also aware of the issue and an internal investigation had been carried out on the issue.

He was shocked that the news media knew about the issue as it was an internal matter and as such should remain confidential.

The Fiji Sun source said the seven involved should be reported to police since they committed a criminal activity while they were still employed as temporary prison officers.

February 14, 2003

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