31 Aug 2012

Former Tonga Speaker facing charges after links with drug lord

1:08 pm on 31 August 2012

Tonga law officials have confirmed that an MP and former Speaker, Lord Tu'ilakepa, is to face weapons and drugs charges after a police investigation allegedly linking him with a South American drug lord.

A lawyer in the Attorney General's office, Sione Sisifa, says Lord Tu'ilakepa has been charged with the possession of guns and ammunition and drug exporting offences.

A date for his court appearance is yet to be set.

He says another noble, the current Deputy Speaker, Lord Tu'ihaateiha, will appear in the Magistrates Court on October the 2nd on weapons charges.

The alleged offences have come to light after an Australian police investigation.

Television New Zealand reports that drugs sourced in South America were to be routed through Tonga to Australia and China.

It is alleged that Lord Tu'ilakepa used his influence to gain a visa for the drug lord, Obeil Antonio Zuluaga Gomez, whom he promised to house and finance.