14 Feb 2013

Tonga police letter issue evokes comment from NZ-based council

2:30 pm on 14 February 2013

The New Zealand-based Tongan Advisory Council says he believes favours were probably given in return for police letters that cleared people's criminal records.

The Kele'a paper reports the deputy police commissioner was among officers who allegedly gave convicted criminals applying for overseas visas letters stating they had no criminal records.

The Council's chairman, Melino Maka says part of the problem is that Tonga is a small place and everyone knows everyone else, and such gifts are common.

"It's a combination, depends on the relationship between the police officer, and the applicant. There will be some degree of money change-over or food or even mats and tapa cloths."

Tongan Advisory Council's chairman, Melino Maka.