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Friday 14 August 2015 | Published in Regional


SUVA – Fiji’s Police Commissioner Ben Groenewald has assured people living in the Western Division that there is no security threat in the area. The reassurance came in the wake of the arrest and detention of five Ra men this week, who were charged with sedition and inciting “communal antagonism”.

“I can offi cially confi rm that we had earlier received information with regards to training of a seditious nature being conducted in the interior of Ra by certain groups,” he said in a statement released yesterday.

He said investigations resulted in three men appearing at the Lautoka Magistrates Court on Monday. Two more men appeared before the Rakiraki Magistrates Court charged with similar offences.

According to Groenewald, there was a possibility of more people being charged as investigations continued.

“The team continues their investigations on the ground as they try to establish the intent of the alleged seditious act,” he said. “Information was also received with regards to the use of guns. However, we have not been able to substantiate these claims nor have we located weapons to that effect.”

Fiji Times reported earlier that “not commenting” on whether police intelligence teams were combing the Western Division for weapons that reportedly went missing during the 1987 and 2000 coups.

Groenewald yesterday said he was overseeing the investigations and would visit villages and settlements as a proactive measure to urge people not to get involved in “such illegal activities”.

“I would like to reassure the nation that there is no security threat and people living along the Ra, Tavua and Rakiraki corridor have nothing to fear because my offi cers are in control of the situation.”