Cocaine seized in Lau; Estimated value of $31m

Bars of cocaine which were allegedly found on an island in the Lau group. Picture: SUPPLIED

ABOUT 31 bars of cocaine with an estimated value of about $31million has been seized by Fijian Police – this time on an island in the Lau group.

Another major discovery in the recent weeks, the operation was initiated when the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) was tipped off that there were bars found on an island in Lau believed to contain illicit drugs.

The information led to a joint operation between FRCS, Police and the Fiji Navy in seizing the bars from the island.

According to a statement from FRCS issued moments ago, the bars weighing 40 kilograms were retrieved and secured and after testing were confirmed to be cocaine.

“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,” FRCS chief executive officer 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.”

While no other information has been revealed, Mr Das said surveillance in coastal communities and seas were an ongoing challenge for Customs.

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 advised.

Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho confirmed that the drugs were now in Police custody.

“The drugs are now in our custody and we will be working closely with the Fiji Navy and Customs throughout the investigation process,” Brig-Gen Qiliho said.

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