5 Jul 2010

Tonga's illegal guns stowaways in shipping containers

3:55 am on 5 July 2010

The acting commander of Tonga's police force says illegal guns are making their way into the country in shipping containers.

The comment follows the laying of a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm against a man alleged to have shot a security guard outside a Nuku'alofa nightclub last month.

Taniela Faletau says the police are developing an armed response capability because of concerns about safety.

He says there are a number of ways the guns are entering Tonga but the main one is through the ports.

"That is the indication we have now, it's being concealed in some of the containers that's coming in together with personal effects or some other goods that're being imported."

Taniela Faletau says more co-operation between the police and the customs department will help staunch the flow of illegal weaponry.