Customs alerted of drug find on Island shores
The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service received information that there were bars found on an Island in the Lau group believed to contain illicit drugs.
Upon receiving the information, Revenue and Customs in collaboration with Fiji Police and the Fiji Navy ensured the securing of these bars from the island.
A total of 31 bars weighing 40 kilograms were retrieved and secured and after testing were confirmed to be Cocaine. The value of these illicit drug is estimated to be worth AUD$20 million.
“We commend the efforts of the people of the Island and those who ensured that Revenue and Customs was immediately alerted about the drugs found on the Island,” Revenue and Customs Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Visvanath Das said.
“It is this kind of partnership we would like to establish with Islands around Fiji and villagers along the coastline through our Coast Watch initiative which we launched in January this year,” Mr, Das said.
“Surveillance in coastal communities and seas are an ongoing challenge for Customs, however, with such assistance and cooperation from Islanders and villagers, we can aim to protect our borders from illicit trade,” he said.
Mr. Das also reiterated the importance of contacting Customs first in relation to such cases.
“Report any illegal or suspicious activities to Customs on 9925764/ 3243000 or our hotline 1326,” Mr. Das said.
The Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho said information was received of the find whereby all stakeholders worked together to secure the drugs.
“The actions by the people of the Island is truly commendable and we are grateful to have members of the community who are willing to assist our efforts in the war against drugs”.
“The drugs are now in our custody and we will be working closely with the Fiji Navy and Customs throughout the investigation process”.
The drugs are now under Police custody.
Police investigations continue.