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The BBC's Gavin Straw
"The operation began three months ago"
 real 56k

Sunday, 29 October, 2000, 11:08 GMT
Huge heroin haul in Fiji
Heroin find
This weekend's could be Australia's biggest ever drugs seizure
A multinational police operation seized a "staggering" amount of heroin in Suva, the capital of Fiji, on Saturday.

Initial estimates suggested that more than 300 kgs (660 lbs) of heroin was seized in the operation involving Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada as well as local police.

"In a commodity that is measured in fractions of a gram that is a truly staggering amount of illicit drugs", Australian Justice Minister Amanda Vanstone said.

Conservative estimates put the value of the haul at over 100m (US$145m)

Record haul

The exact size of the stockpile has yet to be determined, but the Australian Justice Ministry said it "could be as large as Australia's largest-ever seizure of 390 kgs."

Two people have been arrested so far.

On Saturday, police raided a Chinese restaurant and several homes in a wealthy suburb of Suva as part of an operation that began three months ago.

Fiji appears to have been a transit point on a route that brought drugs from Hong Kong and southern China to Australia and North America.

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See also:

15 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Aids explodes on trafficking routes
08 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Hong Kong's changing drug trade
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