7 May 2010

Tonga customs official pleads not guilty in drugs importation case

4:38 pm on 7 May 2010

A Tongan customs officer has pleaded not guilty of importing more than seven million US dollars worth of methamphetamine into the country last September.

The Supreme Court heard details of the police raid of the man's home, where 30 litres of liquid was found in bottles which scientists found was the illicit drug.

The Matangi Tonga website reports the defendant thought the bottles contained wine which he kept at home for friends to collect.

A witness from the DHL courier company in Tonga told the court the bottles were listed on the airway bill as wine.

The accused man was a customs officer working in the export division, inspecting vessels arriving at Nuku'alofa Port, but Matangi Tonga says the court heard this drugs stash came into Tonga by air.