Wednesday, 18 February 2009 7:48 AM

Joint Operation Targets Illegal Betel Nut Stalls

Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and Honiara City Council today removed two prominent betel nut stalls operating illegally in Central Honiara, as part of Operation High Visibility.

Police arrested a 34-year-old man for obstructing officers whilst they were dismantling a large betel nut stall at Point Cruz yesterday.

Honiara City Council Law Enforcement officers also destroyed an illegal betel nut stall operating near the Holy Cross Catholic church yesterday afternoon.

The joint operation follows a recent crackdown on two betel nut stalls at the weekend at West Kola ridge and near All Saints Anglican Church at Point Cruz.

Police Liquor Licensing Squad also arrested 14 people for a range of offences including consuming liquor in public places and selling liquor without a licence.

Chief Superintendent, Nathan Ratu, said the good work by the liquor licensing squad and Honiara City Law Enforcement officers on Friday night was part of the ongoing operation this week.

"These are serious offences which lead to trouble and unnecessary violence in our community. Operation High Visibility is already producing positive results," he said.

"Police have asked the Honiara City Council not to issue any new betel nut stall licences at this time whilst illegal stalls are being cleaned up."

This week Operation High Visibility will also increase day and night patrols by police officers around the Central Markets and the Honiara Central Business District.

"The RSIPF Criminal Investigation Division is also joining the operation to observe and report information from known burglary hotspots," Chief Superintendent Ratu said.


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