10 Jun 2004

Fiji drug bust has bearing on law plans - police commissioner

10:24 am on 10 June 2004

The Fiji Police Commissioner says a major drug bust yesterday morning has a bearing on legislation on the issue.

In raids around Suva early police arrested four foreign nationals and three Fiji citizens.

Police closed the largest meth-amphetamine laboratory ever found south of the equator.

They say it was set up by an Asian-organised crime syndicate.

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.

Andrew Hughes says the scale of the operation shows something needs to be done about drug laws.

"The timing of this is quite immaculate in this regard, in that currently before parliament is the Illicit Drugs Bill, which would see us, if it's passed, having powers to intercept telephone calls, listening devices under warrant from High Court judges and so on, plus severe penalties for serious drug offences, including life imprisonment."