Drug cultivators sentenced to more than 18 years

By: Filipe Naikaso

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 4.27.53 PMTwo men were today handed harsh prison sentences of a total of 37 years after they were convicted of cultivating illicit drugs.

The amount of illicit drugs cultivated is one of the biggest recorded in the country.

Waisake Kaloulia and Kaminieli Naqeleca who were convicted for unlawful cultivation of illicit drugs have been sentenced to 19 years and 18 years imprisonment respectively.

The two men have been sentenced in Fiji’s biggest marijuana case.

Kaloulia and Naqeleca were found guilty by the Suva High Court for unlawfully cultivating 484 plants of marijuana weighing at 160.6 kilograms in Wanibuka, Tailevu in 2015.

Suva High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo while sentencing the men said that the main evidence was that both had admitted to planting the marijuana during the caution interview by the police.

Justice Temo also stated that the facts were straightforward.

On information received from police informers, the police raided Kaloulia’s house at Na-bulini village and found dried leaves on him.

Kaloulia admitted to police that he had a farm in Wainibuka Tailveu which police had to track for 7 hours before reaching the farm.

It was at the farm that the police saw Kaminieli Naqeleca who had fled the scene.

The maximum sentence for unlawful cultivation of marijuana is a fine of $1m or life imprisonment or both.

Kaloulia will spend 19 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years while Naqeleca got a sentence of 18 years with a non-parole period of 15 years.

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