11 Sep 2004

Report claims biggest drugs haul in Vanuatu history

7:39 am on 11 September 2004

It's reported that fishermen in Vanuatu have led police to the biggest drug haul in the country's history.

The Daily Post newspaper reports fishermen at the village of Eton just out of Port Vila as saying they have found 120 kilos of tightly-sealed cocaine buried in sand.

It's reported they handed it over to police, including two Australian Federal officers on Friday night.

Our correspondent, Len Garae, says the fishermen were prompted to come forward after hearing that the AFP office was to close next week after the Government ordered the two Australian police from the country.

The Australian government says the AFP officers have been working to combat transnational crime, including drug-running.

The Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty said earlier this week that international criminals have been targeting the South Pacific to move drugs and establish amphetamine factories.

Raids by Fiji police on a drugs laboratory in June uncovered the largest drugs making operation in the southern hemisphere.

Police said the site had the capacity to produce US$600 million worth of methamphetamine.