More people to be implicated in drug case

February 2, 2024 12:44 pm

Acting DPP John Rabuku

More people are likely to be charged in relation to the seizure of more than four tonnes of methamphetamine in Nadi last month.

This was highlighted by Acting DPP John Rabuku during the first appearance of the accused at the Lautoka High Court- today.

Rabuku indicated to Justice Aruna Aluthge that by the 21st of this month, authorities aim to establish the full extent of those involved in the illicit operation.

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Among those making an appearance today was the 14th accused, Michael Pickering, who stands charged with offences similar to others implicated in the case.

Pickering, who also appeared in the Nadi Magistrates Court yesterday, remains on bail.

Acting DPP Rabuku outlined the strategic plan moving forward, emphasizing the consolidation of all pertinent case files.

Additionally, he raised the issue of an impending application seeking the destruction of the seized drugs, which he revealed to be in excess of four tonnes with an estimated street value soaring to $2 billion.

However, one of the defense counsels, Iqbal Khan, voiced objection to the proposed destruction of the drugs.

Khan said that they will need to examine the illicit substances as part of the exhibit.

In response, Acting DPP Rabuku assured the court that if the defense requires testing, they are welcome to do so promptly.

Rabuku stated the availability of photos and test samples to aid in the process.

The matter will be recalled again on the 27th March.

The accused are 32-year-old Justin Ho, 44-year David Heritage, 22-year Louie Frank Logaivau, 40- year Issac Lesiyanawai, 44-year Ratu Aporosa Davelevu, 30-year Sakiusa Tuva, 29-year Iosefo Roqica, 27-year Maika Yabakivou, 30-year Ratu Osea Levula, 31 year Cathy Tuirabe, 29-year Nancy Mateyawa, 42-year Jale Aukerea and 29-year Keanie Mcpherson.

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