10 Jun 2004

Asian crime ring blamed for initiating Fiji drug laboratory

10:43 am on 10 June 2004

An Asian crime syndicate is believed to have been responsible for setting up the biggest illicit drug manufacturing laboratory in the southern hemisphere in Fiji.

Radio Legend reports that 50 Fiji police and customs officers arrested four foreign nationals and three Fiji citizens in early morning raids in and around Suva yesterday morning.

Three commercial sites in Laucala Beach Estate where the lab and chemicals were found have been sealed off.

Chemicals found in the raids had the potential to produce a tonne of methamphetamine with a street value of over US$600 million.

New Zealand police have arrived to help secure the highly-volatile and dangerous chemicals which have been known to explode.

Raids were also carried out in Central Suva and nearby Nasinu and on three private residences.

Radio Legend says customs officers are also investigating the involvement of the Asian crime syndicate in fraud and money laundering.