16 Jun 2005

Six people plead guilty to methamphetamine charges

8:44 am on 16 June 2005

Four Koreans, an Asian and a Fiji woman of recent Asian origin charged with the 600-million US dollar drug bust in Suva a year ago have all pleaded guilty to a charge of unauthorised manufacture of the drug methamphetamine.

Husband and wife team Jason and Diane Zhong, and Koreans Shing Sum Fok, Hong Keung Lam, Yuk Sang Lui and Charn Ming Chan were arrested after the police raided what was the biggest ever drug factory found in the southern hemisphere.

The Suva High Court has been given details of how the six conspired to import chemicals needed for the manufacture of the methamphtamine in six containers between November 2003 and May of last year and how these were cleared through Customs by Diane Zhong.

More than 800 kilogrammes of methamphetamine worth 600-million US dollars was found in the factory in Laucala Beach when the bust took place.

Simultaneous arrests took place in Malaysia and Hong Kong of people who were connected to the Fiji six.

New Zealand police drug specialists had to be called in to remove the dangerous chemicals and decontaminate the area.

Defence lawyers Abhay Singh and Mehboob Raza have asked for time to prepare mitigation because of language difficulties.

Justice Gerard Winters will sentence the six next Thursday.