10 Jun 2004

Fiji finance minister urges regional co-operation to fight drug crimes

2:06 pm on 10 June 2004

Fiji's Finance Minister says that police in the Pacific region need to join forces to tackle multinational crime.

Ratu Jone Kubuabola, in Rotorua for the Forum Economic Ministers meeting,

was commenting following the major drug bust in Suva yesterday.

Police have closed the largest meth-amphetamine laboratory ever found south of the equator and arrested seven people.

The Fiji police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says the operation appears to have been financed by a Hong Kong cartel, and the drugs were destined for overseas

Ratu Jone says transnational organised crime is best handled on a region-wide basis.

"If there's any lesson from that, in the area of multinational crime, I think it needs to be approached on a regional basis. And that's where Australian and New Zealand capacity becomes very useful."

Ratu Jone Kubuabola.