Fiji Couple Lodges Complaint Against Police For Alleged Public Strip Search

Labasa market stall operators caught up in drug raid

By Serafina Silaitoga

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 1, 2017) – A couple in Labasa have lodged a complaint against police for allegedly stripping them naked in public during a drug raid at the market.

Rajeeta Devi, a vendor, claimed she was taken to the market post and told by police to strip while her husband, Arendra Kumar, was allegedly stripped inside the market master's office.

Ms Devi and her husband's stall was allegedly raided on the morning of January 21, with police closing the market for 30 minutes to conduct the search.

During this time, she claimed police took them separate ways and allegedly stripped the pair while the public watched.

"People could see me standing naked in the back veranda of the market post and everyone was looking at me," Ms Devi claimed.

"The verandah has a fence around it, but people can see through. The market is full on Saturdays so I stood there with no clothes at all and I was so embarrassed.

"The same was done to my husband and now I am embarrassed to come to town because of what happened."

She claimed police told her the raid was for drugs believed to have been kept at their stall.

She claimed that police took her bag during the search which contained her purse with money in it.

She claimed that when her bag was returned, the money was missing from her purse.

She also raised concern on how the police team failed to present a search warrant to carry out the raid at her market stall.

Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho has made a clear stand against such allegations.

He said officers who abused their authority would be investigated thoroughly.

"However, we must allow the investigation to take place to establish what happened before we can make further comments," Brig-Gen Qiliho said.

Police confirmed investigations had started.

Fiji Times Online.
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