10 Jun 2004

Fiji police's strength shown by drug inquiry

10:55 am on 10 June 2004

Fiji's police commissioner says the work to uncover the biggest drug laboratory in the southern hemisphere shows the strength of the country's police force.

In raids around Suva early yesterday morning police arrested four foreign nationals and three Fiji citizens.

Police closed the largest methamphetamine laboratory ever found south of the equator.

It was set up by an Asian-organised crime syndicate.

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

Andrew Hughes says the raids were the result of 14 months of intensive investigations

"There's a very strong message to go out to anyone who sees Fiji as a soft target to establish any form of organised criminal activity. We've got a very capable team and we've got very strong partnerships with our law enforcement partners in New Zealand and Australia, which we've drawn on in this particular operation, and will continue to do so. You're not just tackling Fiji, you're taking on some, some other heavyweights as well."