4 Jul 2006

Fiji police tighten security at Nadi airport after attack by hired thugs

6:54 pm on 4 July 2006

Fiji police have sent reinforcements to Nadi International Airport and tightened security around key installations following an attack by hired thugs.

The police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, has told Radio Legend the reinforcements include men from the Tactical Response Unit.

The radio says the action follows the arrest of the sacked managing director of Strategic Air Services Limited, Watisoni Nata, after he allegedly hired about 50 men to storm the company's office and assault security guards in the early hours of this morning.

Mr Hughes says the men also tried to break into facilities owned by Airports Fiji Limited.

He says police are now looking for the others involved in the large group so they can be arrested.

Assistant police spokeswoman, Prashila Narayan, later confirmed that Nata has been charged with forcible entry and remanded in custody to appear in the Nadi magistrate's court tomorrow morning.

Strategic Air Services is contracted to provide air traffic control services at Nadi Airport.

It has been at the centre of a power struggle between two rival groups seeking to take control of the company.