18 Jun 2004

Drugs seized in Fiji drug bust likely to be sent to New Zealand

3:45 pm on 18 June 2004

The illicit drug, meth-amphetamine, and chemicals used in its manufacture seized in last week's massive raid in Fiji, are likely to be sent to New Zealand for disposal.

The street value of the drug and the chemicals if turned into drugs was an estimated 600-million US dollars.

The director of environment, Epeli Nasone, has told the Fiji Times that New Zealand scientists, carrying out tests on the toxic substances and cleaning up the area, will take another two weeks to complete their work.

Mr Nasone says the drug and chemicals are likely to be disposed of in New Zealand because Fiji does not have the expertise and facilities.

Meanwhile, two nearby schools remain closed this week, and people living and working close to the drug factory, on the border of an industrial area of Laucala Beach, continue to complain of skin irritation, sore throats, itchy eyes and other health problems.