24 Nov 2021

Two more arrested in Tonga cocaine busts

1:24 pm on 24 November 2021

A man has arrested in Vava'u district, as Tongan Police seized 254g of cocaine. Another man was arrested with a .22 long rifle and ammunition in Longomapu.

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(File photo). Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

Both suspects remain in police custody, after the Tonga Police Drug Enforcement Taskforce arrested them as part of ongoing drug operations.

Acting deputy commissioner detective Halatoa Taufa said the 49-year-old from Ta'anea was arrested with the cocaine 10 days ago.

A 38-year-old man was arrested with the rifle and a cache of ammunition during a police raid yesterday.

"The nation's fight against illicit drugs to create a drug-free Tonga is possible only through collective efforts," Taufa said.

He also acknowledged members of the community who provided police with the timely information, and encouraged people to continue to report information that might help police investigations.

An earlier cocaine seizure in Vava'u uncovered more than 14kg of the drug, estimated to be worth over $5 million pa'anga (US$2.2 million).

In July, the first cocaine packets washed up on Vava'u beaches and were handed over to police, prompting a big search operation with more of the illicit drug seized.

More than 20 people have been arrested and charged so far, including three foreigners.

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