31 Jan 2007

Senior Fiji police officer arrested on firearm offences

10:21 am on 31 January 2007

A senior Fiji police officer has been taken into military custody for the second time in three days for alleged firearms offences.

Soldiers first detained Assistant Commissioner Samuela Matakibau on Sunday night allegedly for being in possession of illegal firearms.

Soon after his release on Tuesday, Mr Matakibau was re-arrested when soldiers found an illegal firearm at the home of one of his officers.

Mr Matakibau was commander of the Police Tactical Response Unit set up by former commissioner Andrew Hughes which was disarmed at the time of the coup.

Both the Land Force Commander, Col Pita Driti, and the police public relations office have confirmed that Mr Matakibau is back in military custody.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says there are other allegations against Mr Matakibau which the military cannot disclose at present.