20 Jun 2012

Government plans to better monitor deportees to Tonga

1:45 pm on 20 June 2012

The deputy prime minister of Tonga, Samiu Vaipulu, says the government is investigating ways of improving the information it collects on deportees returning to the country.

An opposition MP Dr Sitiveni Halapua has raised concerns about criminal deportees returning to Tonga and the lack of records on them.

Mr Vaipulu says the Ministry of Police does keep a register of deportees but admits the information needs to be more robust.

"We are looking into ways that we have to try and see some kind of information with the countries which are deporting all these deportees to us. We have to arrange and see how best we can do it so that we can be warned and we'll see why they deported."

Samiu Vaipulu says the attorney-general is looking into the issue and says they are also interested in helping deportees reintegrate into the Tonga culture.

He says they don't have any evidence on whether deportees are commiting crimes when they return to the Kingdom.