The 13 people charged in relation to the Fiji meth bust have been released on bail. Photo: FBC/24012937
A Fiji court has granted bail to 13 people charged in relation to the seizure of almost five tonnes of methamphetamine.
Nadi Magistrates Courts has placed the accused under a curfew and ordered them
to report to the Nadi Police Station.
accused will appear at the Lautoka High Court on Friday (Fiji time).
13, including a former national squash champion Justin Ho, are facing charges
for unlawful importation and unlawful possession of illicit drugs, possession
of property suspected of being proceeds of crime, relating to the importation
and transportation of the illicit substances.
is estimated that the estimated street value the haul is more than FJ$2 billion
13 include 32-year-old Justin Ho, 44-year David Heritage, 22-year Louie Frank
Logaivau, 40- year Issac Lesiyanawai, 44-year Ratu Aporosa Davelevu, 30-year
Sakiusa Tuva, 29-year Iosefo Roqica, 27-year Maika Yabakivou, 30-year Ratu Osea
Levula, 31 year Cathy Tuirabe, 29-year Nancy Mateyawa, 42-year Jale Aukerea and
29-year Keanie Mcpherson," state broadcaster FBC reported.
Lagivou and Aukerea have being charged with possession of cash in local and
overseas currency suspected to have come from the proceeds of crime, totally
was charged, alongside Frederick Epeli, who was a Fiji Airways flight attendant
at the time, for exporting 2015.7 grams of cocaine to Sydney in 2018.
both men walked free after the State could not locate the evidence - the drugs
exhibit went missing from the Namaka Police Station - and the Office of the
Director of Public Prosecutions filed to discontinue proceedings December 2020.
Monday, Fiji Police assistant police commissioner (crime) Mesake Waqa confirmed
"Fiji was being used as a transit point and that the methamphetamine was destined
for a foreign market".
said the drugs arrived in Fiji in late December.
said the exchange of the shipment of methamphetamine is believed to be made
outside of Fiji's Exclusive Economic Zone, and the packages were delivered via
police is working with its foreign counterparts, including the Australian
Federal Police and the Pacific Transnational Crime and Coordination Centre, and
expecting to make more arrests.
Fiji Police Force will not be making further comments on the ongoing
investigation until major developments are made," Waqa said.