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Cocaine in kava

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, March 27, 2014

COCAINE was found in a shipment of kava at the Nadi International Airport on Tuesday.

The find was confirmed by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority CEO, Jitoko Tikolevu.

"The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority has confiscated a kava shipment after contents tested positive for cocaine," Mr Tikolevu said in a statement.

"The discovery of the illicit drug happened at the Nadi International Airport on Tuesday.

"The kava was initially exported to China and was being re-exported back to a local kava dealer.

"Biosecurity Authority of Fiji officers had approached Customs officers for a second opinion as they were suspicious of the shipment because of discrepancies in the Biosecurity Phytosanitary Certificate, the texture and the smell of the kava."

He said initial tests by Customs officials proved positive for cocaine.

He said the case had been referred to police for further investigations.

This is the third drug find by authorities in as many days.

According to police, two parcels containing illicit drugs were found at the Nadi Airport Post Office in Namaka, Nadi.

The initial find by Customs officials was last week — that of a 480 gram package containing illicit drugs.

The discovery also led to a raid of a suspected drug lab in a building located near the Nadi International Airport.

A 39-year-old man was the first suspect charged for unlawful possession of illicit drugs and is in police custody pending further investigations.

He appeared in court on Tuesday.

State lawyers have revealed evidence found so far suggested the case could be part of organised crime.

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