TWO persons have been arrested and charged for allegedly trying to export marijuana out of the country onto a flight to Kiribati recently.
Beatrice Umea, 33, and Etekia Kauai, 24, are both facing a charge of attempted export of prohibited substance contrary to section 4 (2) of the Dangerous Drug Act.
They were both released on bail after they were charged.
Their charges were filed yesterday in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court and they will face the court on July 29.
Police Commissioner Matthew Varley in his weekly conference yesterday said this relates back to an incident that occurred at the Henderson airport on June 19 which police were investigating.
He said it was alleged the two people attempted to smuggle a box which contain cannabis to the airport and possibly out onto a flight to Kiribati.
“As a result of that, Aviation security officers detected a suspicious package attempting to be loaded onto a flight.
“….. and that box was then transferred to the custody of police who carried out an investigation and later found packs of substance identified to be cannabis or marijuana,” Varley told reporters.
He said that since that time, their investigation had been ongoing which resulted in the arrest of the two suspects.
“Both had been arrested in relation to an allegation that they conspired to attempt to export that package out from Solomon Islands.
“It’s alleged that they were working together to potentially export that box on the flight, the Solomon Airlines flight to Kiribati,” Varley added.
He said he cannot say more into this matter as it is now before the court.
“But it does demonstrate that we are taking these issues seriously and that we will continue to make sure that our boarders are safe and secure.
“…. and of course, that, any incidents like this do affect the integrity of our airport and our air border will be investigated thoroughly.
Varley further added that one of the accused, Beatrice Umea, is an employee of Solomon Airlines.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN