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Bullets Find Sparks Raid

Bullets Find Sparks Raid
Ammunition
January 08
11:00 2017

Police on Friday raided three  businesses and a home of a businessman following the discovery of ammunition last Sunday on a sinking boat at Vuda Marina, Lautoka.

The raid has led to the arrest of one businessman. The home of the businessman, who is in custody, was also part of the raids.

The raids were made as Police try to piece together information following the discovery of live ammunition.

Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said yesterday it was premature to comment because their investigations were continuing.

Specially trained canines, based at Nadi International Airport who specialise in sniffing out ammunition and drugs, were also used in the raids.

The businessman in Police custody is believed to be indirectly associated with the three businesses. The boat is a small fibreglass type craft with an inboard engine.

The suspect is also believed to have links with the former Land Force Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba, who fled the country in 2011 after he was charged with inciting sedition.

Yesterday the boat was taken out of the water at Vuda Marina and placed in a secluded spot called the “Pit”, guarded by Police.

From information gathered, the boat was brought from the yard of a leading bus company in Lautoka and offloaded at Lomolomo Beach last Sunday, a well-known picnic spot situated between Lautoka and Nadi.

The captain of the boat was to have taken the boat with the bag containing the live ammunition to a nearby island resort.

It is also believed that some men, including some businessmen, had met there recently.

Sources at the Vuda Marina said as the boat was heading to the island resort, it started taking in water and the boat captain turned to the marina for safety.

The sources said the boat was tied up at a spot in the marina and the captain left.

Workers there had noticed that the boat started to sink as it continued to take in water and two employees from the marina jumped on board to bail the water out.

They soon discovered a bag inside and when they opened it they found the ammunition in packets.

It is believed there were 180 bullets to each packet believed to be of M16 rifles, but it could not be determined how many packets were found in the bag.

Unconfirmed reports say Police were looking for the guns. Police were called in and the week-long investigation led to the arrest of the businessman and the raids.

It could not be established if Police made any further discoveries in the raid but as of yesterday, one of the businesses remained closed while the other two were operating as normal.

Police spokesperson Inspector Jokatama Qio confirmed the raid was done on the three premises, but stressed that it had nothing to do with drugs, since two of the places raided were pharmacies.

Edited By Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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