2 convicted in $23m Lautoka drug case
Two men charged in relation to a cocaine bust in Lautoka last year have been found guilty by the Lautoka High Court today.
Justice Thushara Rajasinghe overturned the assessors not guilty opinion in the AUD$15 million (Fijian $23million) drug case. The five assessors had unanimously found both not guilty.
Justice Rajasinghe found Australian national Joseph Abourizk and Fijian local Josese Muriwaqa guilty of unlawful possession of illicit drugs contrary to Section 5 (a) of the Illicit Drugs Control Act, 2004.
The two were found in possession of 49.9 kg of cocaine in Vuda in August 2015.
The matter has been adjourned to Thursday for mitigation and sentencing submissions.
Following weeks of extensive intelligence gathering the joint operation team comprising the Fijian and Australian Police, with the help of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, closed in on the two suspects near the Vuda Marina where the illicit drugs were seized from the vehicle the two were travelling in.
Source: newswire.com.fj 22 apr 2016