HONOLULU (KHON2) — Officials are calling it Operation Faikava. It’s a two-year investigation, between federal and local law enforcement authorities, closing in on what the FBI is calling an illegal drug and gambling enterprise.

The Maui Police Department announced arrests in connection with an illegal gambling business, firearms, drug trafficking, money laundering and drug trafficking offenses in a news conference held on Monday, June 6.

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“We believe to be a nefarious scheme that has been operating between multiple Hawaiian islands and the mainland,” said Steven Merill, FBI Honolulu Special Agent in Charge.

On Friday, special agents arrested Maliu Tauheluhelu on Oahu who they said was the leader and two others on Maui. Officials say, one person remains on the loose. Authorities said they recovered a significant amount of illegal items.

“At least $68,000 in U.S. currency and at a minimum 15 pounds of methamphetamine. It hasn’t all been tallied up yet,” said Kenneth Sorenson, U.S. Attorney’s Office Chief of Criminal Division. “Seven firearms, including two untraceable ghost guns and an excess of 20 gaming machines.”

Officials said the operation was elaborate, using burner phones, avoiding TSA screening to move drugs and using firearms to protect their operations. Officials add, legitimate businesses in Waianae, Kakaako, Lahaina and Wailuku were used as fronts for illegal gambling.

“First thing we do is to fight vigorously to make sure they stay in custody,” said Sorenson.

Federal authorities are committing to cracking down on more illegal activity in Hawaii.

“Our team’s work is not done,” said Merill. “Our investigation continues, and we will identify and deter those who are poisoning the people of Hawaii.”

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The FBI is urging the public to send any tips on illegal activity in Hawaii to 808-566-4300.