1 Feb 2007

Fiji's interim government says more police could be holding illegal guns after two officers flee

2:51 pm on 1 February 2007

Fiji's military fears there could be more police in the country with illegal firearms following the discovery of high-powered sniper rifles and ammunition.

Two senior police officers have fled Fiji since the arrest of the Assistant Commissioner, Samuela Matakibau on Sunday on firearms charges.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says the two were members of a special task force set up by the former police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, to investigate senior military officers, including Commodore Bainimarama.

Major Leweni says a joint military and police operation is now investigating senior police officers.

"We are very concerned. It's just sending out a message that there could be more weapons out there. This has opened up another investigation and we are looking very carefully into this issue."

Major Leweni says the investigation's looking at where the weapons came from and how they fell into the hands of the two police officers.

He declined to say whether the two were on a list of people who were to be interviewed by the military soon.