10 Jun 2003

Many illegal guns imported into Fiji in 1987 still missing

7:25 am on 10 June 2003

Fiji's parliament has been told that police files on the illegal import of two container loads of arms after the 1987 Rabuka coups are still open.

Radio fiji says this has been disclosed in the House by the chair of parliament's justice, law and order committee, Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure.

Ratu Rakuita, who is facing serious charges for his role in the May 2000 coup, said the arms were imported by prominent members of society who were determined to initiate an armed insurrection against the interim administration led by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

He said the arms came from terrorist organisations in the Middle East and were detected in Australia where one container was intercepted while a second was found in the yard of an engineering company at Ba.

Ratu Rakuita said the 18 tonnes of arms from the container at Ba were already dispersed into the population but only 12 tonnes were ever recovered.

He said the remaining 6 tonnes are still unaccounted for and the state has been unsuccessful in extraditing one of the persons alleged to have been involved in the importation, a Mohammed Rafiq Khan.