14 Jun 2010

Tonga jails hard drug importer for 14 years

1:12 pm on 14 June 2010

Tonga's Chief Justice, Anthony Ford, has sentenced 42-year old, Tevita Paatii Kata, to 14 years jail for allowing the importation and possession of methamphetamine.

The court heard that Kata was a Customs Officer when he allowed more than 17 kilogrammes of methamphetamine, worth nearly ten million US dollars, into Tonga.

Radio Tonga reports Chief Justice Ford saying the crime was well planned and conducted in a very professional manner.

The drug was smuggled into the country in wine bottles and small bags for re-shipment to Australia.

Tonga police received advice from their New Zealand counterparts and were able to conduct the search.