4 Oct 2005

Banned Vanuatu kava awaits Fiji Finance minister's approval

12:40 pm on 4 October 2005

Fiji customs officers are holding nine container-loads of kava from Vanuatu, while they wait for importers to produce ministerial approval for the banned product to be brought into the country.

The Fiji Times reports that the containers arrived at the Kings wharf in Suva on Friday night and were placed under Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority control and storage.

FIRCA chief executive Tevita Banuve said they await the submission of the necessary documents by the four importers.

He said the documents by the importers would have to include import licences issued by the Minister of Finance and National Planning Ratu Jone Kubuabola.

Pacific Agencies management, the agent that provided services for the consigned kava from Vanuatu to Fiji, said they could not comment on the issue.

The newspaper quotes an anonymous source that said shipments of Vanuatu kava worth about nearly $300,000 US dollars were consigned to large local kava suppliers in the country.