What are the Fijian authorities doing after revelations in Umarji’s Auckland drug trial?

What are the Fijian authorities doing after revelations in Umarji’s Auckland drug trial?

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 08/09/2023
Aiyaz Musa Umarji

Manufacturing of hard drugs, and cutting off the suppliers and peddlers is an immediate issue of concern after Fijian national, Aiyaz Musa Umarji was convicted in New Zealand on August 9th this year, and people are asking what the Fijian authorities are doing about this as a lot of money has also been earned by Umarji through these illegal means.

It has been stated in the Auckland District Court’s official documents received by fijivillage News that Umarji was the managing director of several pharmacies in Fiji and across the Pacific region under the 'Hyperchem' group of pharmacies including 'Hyperchem Pharmacy' in Lautoka, Fiji.

The summary of facts states that Umarji's role in these companies is, amongst other roles, the importation and exportation of pharmaceuticals into and out of Fiji from all over the world. At all material times these entities had lawful authority to import products containing pseudoephedrine into Fiji and, prior to 2021, the same could be sold over the counter in Fiji without a prescription.

Umarji is also the sole shareholder of 'Bio Pharma Limited' and a signatory on the account. His co-defendant in the NZ matter Firdos Eruch Dalal is the sole director of this company and also a signatory on this account.

This company was set up for the sole purpose of transferring money between syndicate members with respect to the importation and distribution of illicit drugs.

In the sentencing documents, the Auckland District Judge told Umarji that he was a significant actor in the importation of 40.68 kilograms of pseudoephedrine. He said this is suggested by the Crown to have had a value of close to NZ$6 million.

The Judge said it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the financial benefits that Umarji saw led him into temptation to be involved in this offending and that really, in its purest sense, would be described as greed. The Auckland District Judge told Umarji apart from this offending, he was devoted to his family and to his faith. The Judge said Umarji produced a great deal of public benefit - this is coupled with him being described as an honest and fair businessperson, and he has seen Umarji has made his apologies to the people who have known him in terms of his religious faith and recognise that what he did was a serious departure from his normal way of living.

The Judge said Umarji has done positive things that have been of real benefit in terms of his contribution to the orphanage in terms of his involvement with people who need his assistance and skill.

He said it is paradoxical that Umarji is now facing a lengthy sentence for what is regarded as very serious offending.

The Judge said to Umarji he reflects on the harm that would have been caused by the disposition of the end product of the pseudoephedrine, and as he knows vulnerable people are harmed to a significant degree by methamphetamine, described as a blight on our society.

That said, the Judge accepted there is genuine remorse on Umarji’s behalf underlined by him returning to face the consequences of what he had done.

The Judge started the sentence at 9 years but after taking all the mitigation factors into account, Umarji was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for the importation of pseudoephedrine.

We have sent questions to Police on the steps being taken after revelations in the Auckland trial.

Parent company of FIJI Water to get into major agriculture development
The Wonderful Company, the parent company of FIJI Water and one of the world’s biggest and most successful agricultural enterprises, has announced p...
7 hours ago
We have to renovate Matanikila House as we have to move the elderly from Ba Mission Hospital – Tabuya
About $341,835 will be spent by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection on renovations to move the elderly from Ba Mission Hospital to ...
6 hours ago

Repair works underway on Hibiscus Highway - Ro Filipe
Repair works are currently underway on the Hibiscus Highway from Savusavu towards Natuvu as there were some delays in follow-up ...
6 hours ago

FNPF buys 40% of BSP Life’s shares in Rooster Poultry
The Fiji National Provident Fund has bought 40 percent of BSP Life’s shares in Future Farms Pte Limited, which is trading as Rooster ...
6 hours ago

AG says pending cases in court reduced to 16,941 from 26,162
Attorney General and Minister for Justice Siromi Turaga says under the previous government, the number of pending cases in court was alarmingly high, ...
7 hours ago

Ratu Etonia Seru Rokotuinaceva installed as Tui Levuka after 16 years
Ratu Etonia Seru Rokotuinaceva has been traditionally installed as the Nai Taukei Nabukebuke Na Gone Turaga Bale Na Tui Levuka and has taken over ...
9 hours ago

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Ministry of Home Affairs Talanoa Session on Illicit Drugs and Substance Use Disorders in Fiji
The pervasive threat of illicit drugs has emerged as a pressing concern, rapidly infiltrating and destabilizing our society therefore the Republic of ...
4 days ago

Bainimarama and Qiliho hearing in dismissal of 2 police officers case
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions John Rabuku says he wants the hearing of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police ...
4 days ago

Sayed-Khaiyum case on alleged payment of Saneem's taxes without proper approval
It is alleged that between the 30th of June, 2022 and the 12th of July, 2022 in Suva, whilst being employed in the civil service as the Acting Prime ...
4 days ago