Biographical entry: Bishop, Vaudry John
New Zealander Vaudry John Bishop achieved notoriety in the Solomon Islands when he was arrested for importing 101 pounds of cannabis worth between $150,000 and $200,000 in his Piper Cherokee aircraft in 1974. The plane had been flown from California through Europe and was on its way to New Zealand. He was sentenced to five years in goal and fined $50,000 (or an extra year of goal). This was the first major drug arrest in the Solomons. He escaped from prison but was recaptured. His sentence was reduced to four years and the fine to $200, and he was released in February 1977.
In June 1977, Bishop was back; he flew his plane out of Cairns, Queensland, and crash-landed at Mono Island in the Treasury Island (q.v.). On board were sawn-off shotguns and ammunition, oxy-acetylene bottles, an attachment for cutting steel and walkie-talkie radios. He appeared in court in Honiara with two companions, charged with illegal entry and possession of firearms. All three were soon deported. In September one of them, Frederick Robert Rose, said the equipment was intended to cut into a shipwreck near Bougainville that supposedly contained diamonds. A story circulated Honiara that they had intended to break into a Honiara bank. (NS 26 Apr. 1974, 10 May 1974; SND 11 Feb. 1977, 29 June 1977, 5 Aug. 1977, 20 Sept. 1977)