7 Nov 2003

Solomon Islands customs intercept tuna load on aircraft

11:10 am on 7 November 2003

Solomon Islands Customs Officers have intercepted a commercial load of chilled tuna aboard an international flight from Australia to Nauru.

The plane had stopped at Henderson Airport to refuel and customs officers, attending the airport for the clearance of the aircraft, observed fresh tuna being loaded aboard.

The Deputy-Comptroller, Nathan Kama, was called in after it was found no application for extra-attendance had been arranged for customs to clear the dutiable cargo.

Furthermore, the aircraft did not have a permit to load commercial cargo

In view of the exporter's non-compliance with requirements, Customs instructed the aircraft operator to off-load the cargo.

Customs says the aircraft was only allowed to proceed after all necessary permits were issued, customs documentation completed and all duties paid.