21 Jun 2004

Fiji police investigating source of rumours over possible coup

3:11 pm on 21 June 2004

Police in Fiji are to investigate the source of coup rumours which resulted in a police unit being sent to surround parliament at the end of last week.

The commissioner, Andrew Hughes, says about 40 officers were deployed to parliament after stories circulated that there would be a coup and MPs taken hostage.

He says he fielded calls from members of the public, business people and the media.

Mr Hughes says there was no substance to the rumours and the situation is calm.

"It's not volatile at all. There are obviously a lot of people who are easily frightened by these sorts of rumours and I think they draw some encouragement to know that we do take them seriously until we've proven them to be false, as was the case in this particular one."

The police commissioner says the army was contacted and they had also independently ascertained that there was nothing to the rumours.