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Local involvement worries FRCA

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

THE Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority is concerned at the increasing number of people involved in illicit drug smuggling.

FRCA chief executive Jitoko Tikolevu said while the growing illicit trade was worrying, of greater concern was the boldness of Fijians to commit the crime.

Mr Tikolevu's comments follow the discovery of an envelope containing 408 grams of energy supplements laced with cocaine.

According to FRCA, the envelope was sent to the Nadi Post Office.

"The parcel was sent from Hong Kong directly to a Nadi-based company," he said

"The Customs officer on duty was suspicious of the envelope and when he opened it he found white powder with a strong pungent smell.

"Using an ion scan machine, the officer conducted a preliminary test which revealed signs of LSD and traces of cocaine.

"Further tests at the Koronivia Research Station confirmed the energy supplements were mixed with cocaine."

FRCA has referred investigations into the alleged illicit drug smuggling case to the police for further investigations.

This is not the first time Customs officers have been instrumental in preventing major crimes.

Last week Mr Tikolevu praised border security officers for their role in several investigations that led to the crackdown on a $1.3million liquor smuggling and duty evasion operation.

Seven officers were rewarded.

They included Navneeth Chandra who was responsible for the recovery of about $150,000 worth of foreign and local currencies.

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