A DRUG smuggler caught with about five kilograms of methamphetamines at Nadi International Airport in 2011 has been jailed for 13 years.
Ainars Kreimanis was found guilty of unlawful possession of illicit drugs by the High Court in Lautoka after a seven-day trial.
The court found Kreimanis was guilty of entering the country on November 11, 2011, with a brown suitcase, which, when searched by Customs officials, contained 5.6279kg of the drug concealed in four picture frames.
Justice Sudharshana De Silva said forensic evidence presented during the trial confirmed the drugs found in the suitcase were indeed methamphetamines.
The judge said evidence showed it was clear the accused had entered the country with knowledge of the drug hidden in picture frames.
"There is no tariff in Fiji set out for the possession of methamphetamines," Justice De Silva said.
"However, considering all authorities, I am of the view that the tariff of 10 to 16 years imprisonment is justified for quantity of more than 5kg."
The judge reduced Kreimanis' term to 13 years and one month after taking into consideration the time he spent in remand awaiting trial.
"You are sentenced to 13 years and one month imprisonment, you will not be eligible for parole until you complete 12 years of imprisonment," said Justice De Silva.
Kreimanis has 30 days to appeal against the sentence.