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Nadi businessman cleared, Australian guilty in $30m drug trial

NADI businessman Mohammed Shaheed Khan was yesterday acquitted in relation to a drug bust in Lautoka in late last year, while Australian national Ethan Kai was found guilty. Lautoka High High Court Judge Justice Rajasinghe ruled Khan did not have any knowledge of the shipment of heroin that had been seized at the Queens Wharf […]

Calvin Prasad

September 11, 2015 12:48 pm

NADI businessman Mohammed Shaheed Khan was yesterday acquitted in relation to a drug bust in Lautoka in late last year, while Australian national Ethan Kai was found guilty.

Lautoka High High Court Judge Justice Rajasinghe ruled Khan did not have any knowledge of the shipment of heroin that had been seized at the Queens Wharf by police intelligence officials.

The assessors were split in their decisions. Two had found Khan guilty of the charges, while two others did not.

Australian national Ethan Kai was found guilty by the court. Justice Rajasinghe agreed with the assessors verdict, who unanimously found Kai guilty of unlawful importation of illicit drugs.

Mr Kai has been remanded further and will be sentenced in on September 15.

Mr Khan, speaking to the media after his acquittal:

I want to thank the judge and Fiji’s justice system for giving me back my freedom.

Finally, I can go back home and be with my sons and wife because I’ve been away from home for more than nine months.

This case was a test not only for me, but also for my family.

It took a toll on us because we are from a very good family that does not deal with these sort of things so it has come as a relief for all of us that it’s finally over.

Khan’s lawyer Iqbal Khan:

The honourable judge found as a matter of law that my client had no knowledge of what was in the shipment.

We stood by those grounds from the very beginning and I am very happy that the honourable judge also agreed.

Earlier this year, the two appeared at the High Court in Lautoka, each charged with one count of illegal importation of illicit drugs.
Earlier this year, the two appeared at the High Court in Lautoka, each charged with one count of illegal importation of illicit drugs. Photo: FBC/Fiji Sun

The duo were alleged to have been part of the importation of a large shipment of heroin hidden inside tyres of quad bikes.

The raid is believed to have been a joint operation by the Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA).

Police ACP Henry Brown had said the bust was not an isolated case but was a result of credible intelligence received from our foreign law enforcement agencies.

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