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Hunt on for guns

Repeka Nasiko And Nasik Swami
Monday, January 09, 2017

POLICE are now searching for military grade arms in Lautoka City after the discovery of live ammunition at a boat yard in Vuda Marina.

The live ammunition was contained in nine packets on board a fibreglass boat on January 1.

After the discovery, three businesses belonging to the owner of the boat were raided by police last Friday.

Two of the businesses were pharmacies.

A team from this newspaper was at the Vuda Marina yesterday and saw a group of police forensic officers arriving at the secured boat yard where the bullets were found. The police officers also brought the suspect to the marina where he was shown where the bullets were found.

The suspect was accompanied by Lautoka lawyer Mark Anthony. He was taken back to the Lautoka Police Station for further questioning.

Police chief of intelligence and investigations ACP Biu Matavou said about nine packets of the live ammunition were found by police on the sinking boat.

"We only found bullets, but no guns," he said.

"As I said before, the raids at the properties of the suspect is a follow-up to the discovery of the bullets.

"The bullets have been examined by the military and they have been able to assist us with the analysis of the bullets.

"That is the only area that the military has assisted us in with regards to the investigations."

He said a suspect was in police custody, but no charges had been laid against the individual.

He added that details would be released after further investigations were carried out.

Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Staff Officer Operations Major Sirilo Ropate yesterday confirmed that the military was called in to identify the ammunition.

Major Ropate said the military identified that the ammunition rounds found were "live and real".

"They (police) called us just to identify that they are live and real ammunition rounds, but the full investigation regarding the case the police are doing it," he said.

Major Ropate confirmed that no arms were found in the raid.

Update: Two charged over ammunition find

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