By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
TESTS carried out in Australia on a large consignment of drugs seized from a yacht in Honiara late last year are confirmed to be cocaine.
Police Commissioner Matthew Varley confirmed this to reporters, Thursday.
“I can confirm for you that the testing process in Australia has been completed,” Varley said.
“The analytical laboratory confirmed what we expected and that is the subject is cocaine,” he added.
“What that means now is that the chemical analysis process that was required for court in Australia has been completed.
“We had to wait until that chemical analysis process was concluded; and remember that there are two men facing trial in Sydney for this shipment.
“Under Australian law there needs to be a scientific analysis certificate presented to court.
“So we have to wait until those procedures were carried out.
“I have received notification this week that is now completed.
“So as a result, we have asked our officers from National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID to develop a plan with our forensic officers for the destruction of the cocaine.
“That is all that we are looking at now,” Varley added.
Local and Australian police seized the drugs concealed behind a false wall inside the foreign yacht.
Varley there are some plans in place where they are assessing options for its destruction locally.
“That includes incineration or burning of the cocaine but we need to get some proper scientific analysis as to how to do that safely.
“I need to make sure we don’t cause any other environmental issues.
“So at the moment, the cocaine is still securely stored by police under lock and key.”
The police commissioner said they are in the process of assessing our options for incineration and hopes to carry out that operation soon.
The RSIPF together with the Australian Federal Police and other Australian authorities on 27 September 2018 seized million dollars worth of cocaine from a yacht in Honiara.
It was alleged the cocaine was loaded into the yacht in South America and sailed to Honiara.
Police earlier reported that the alleged organisers in Australia were making arrangement to bring the yacht just before it was searched by the RSIPF.
So far, two men suspected to be responsible for trafficking the 500 kilograms of cocaine have been arrested in Sydney, Australia, the same day police boarded the yacht Vieux Malin that was berthing in Honiara.
One of the men, a 41-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of illicit drugs and dealing with money.
Another whom is a 39 year-old is being alleged to have facilitated the related money transfers.
The cocaine was located in a cavity behind a false wall panel in the interior of the yacht.