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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 12) - Twenty-eight special constables and one regular police officer resigned in Fiji last year to take up employment opportunities in the Middle East.

Police spokeswoman Acting Assistant Superintendent Unaisi Vuniwaqa said the men had handed in their resignation last year and were free to do what they wanted.

"At the moment it is not a worry for the Police Force and we wish the men the best in their future endeavors," she said.

ASP Vuniwaqa said the men would have to re-apply should they decide to re-join the force.

She said they would have to undertake training again and apply as civilians.

One former special constable of Tavua, who wished to remain anonymous and left for Kuwait today, said he had resigned because he did not see a future for himself in the force.

"Compared to what I get as a special constable, Public Warehousing Company is giving me more and that's what matters now," he said. "I have a family to support and I would like my children to have a future, which is why I'm leaving for this job opportunity."

He said he knew about the risks but because he was not getting paid enough he saw the trip as his only opportunity.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes said he had handed over a submission concerning the needs of the force for possible additional funding to the Home Affairs Ministry.

Minister Josefa Vosanibola had said he was waiting for Hughes to provide him with the requirements of the force and additional funding needed.

He said it would be tabled at the next Cabinet meeting and if agreed, police allocation would be increased this year.

"I have prepared the submission which contains priority areas where we are seeking funding for," he said.

January 13, 2005

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