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Police Uncover Engine Racket

Police Uncover Engine Racket
February 27
12:16 2017

Police have uncovered a major racket involving an illicit trade in stolen outboard engines.

In the past few days they have raided addresses and confiscated the stolen engines and interviewed suspects.

Police spokesperson Jokatama Qio confirmed last night that this was a major racket involving a group from Nausori and Rewa and another group in the Western Division.

Inspector Qio said: “The Criminal Investigation Department team from the Western and Eastern Division are investigating this matter.

“Police believe it is a big racket. It is involving a whole lot of people from Nausori together with people in the Western Division.”

He said he would release more details today.

Two of the latest stolen engines found in Nausori came from the Western Division. Police have also discovered that engines stolen in Nausori and Rewa are sold in the West. A 40 horsepower engine belonging to the Rewa Provincial Council was stolen from where the boat was parked in Nabalili, Rewa.

Police suspect it’s part of an organised crime ring.

It is understood that in the latest haul Police recovered a 60 horsepower engine, two 40 horsepower engine, and a 25 horsepower engine.

Inspector Qio said the Police were following some leads that they had established.

He said no arrests had been made yet.

Some outboard motor operators based at Nasali Landing in Rewa said yesterday they were aware about the incident.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity. They said that some people tried selling stolen outboard motor engines to them but they refused to buy.

In one sad tale, though, a villager who thought he had scored a good buy when he bought an engine at less than half the normal price some years ago has been taken in by Police and his 40 horsepower engine seized. He only discovered it was stolen when Police confronted him. He had apparently bought it from a Naitasiri man who bought it from another person.

Edited by Maraia Vula

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