9 Jun 2004

Record Southern Hemisphere drug bust in Fiji

2:35 pm on 9 June 2004

50 Fiji police and customs officers early this morning carried out the biggest drug bust ever in the whole of the southern hemisphere.

RADIO LEGEND reports that in raids around Suva early this morning police arrested four foreign nationals and three Fiji citizens.

The radio says police have closed the largest meth-amphetamine laboratory ever found south of the equator.

It was set up by an Asian-organised crime syndicate.

Three commercial sites in Laucala Beach Estate where the lab and chemicals were found have been sealed off.

Chemicals found in the raids had the potential to produce 1,000 kilogrammes of amphetamines with a street value of over 600-million US dollars, at the rate of 500-kilos a week.

New Zealand police have arrived to help secure the highly-volatile and dangerous chemicals.

Raids were also carried out in Central Suva and nearby Nasinu and on three private residences.

Radio Legend say the raids are the result of 14 months of intensive investigations by Fiji's joint police and customs trans-national crime unit designed to stop the country being used as a drug staging post.