$2 billion drug bust, 13 charged in Fiji

Photo: SLM

Thirteen people have been charged in relation to the seizure of more than four tonnes of methamphetamine in Nadi, Fiji, following consultation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In a police statement released today, the accused persons face charges of unlawful importation of illicit drug, unlawful possession of illicit drug, possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime, relating to the importation and transportation of the illicit substances with the estimated street value of more than $2 billion dollars.

Through joint efforts with the Fiji Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Pacific Transnational Crime and Coordination Centre, it has been confirmed that Fiji was being used as a transit point and that the methamphetamine was destined for a foreign market. It is expected some of the spillover was for the local market.

Police have also confirmed that the illicit substances did arrive in Fiji in late December, and the exchange of the shipment of methamphetamine believed to be made outside of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and the packages were delivered via a barge.

Investigations revealed that the accused persons in taking delivery of the illicit substances stored it at a private warehouse. It is alleged that more than 3 tonnes were transported to Legalega and later more than 1 ton to Maqalevu. Those involved in the delivery and subsequent packing of the drugs have also been charged.

“The investigations are by no means over, as we will be working closely with our foreign partners and expect to make more arrests,” the police statement said.

“Investigations have also uncovered the involvement of a foreign national tied to a known syndicate, whom we are pursuing with the help of our international partners,” it added.

The people charged will be appearing in the Nadi Magistrates Court today.