Two very high-ranking Tongan police officers are under an investigation into allegations that 33 convictions of Tongan citizens were ordered to be “wiped” from police records over several years, under an unwritten policy that was tacitly approved by a former and now deceased Minister of Police.
Police and Crime
‘Ofa Lauaki of ‘Ohonua was charged with bribing a police officer Detective Pita Tahitu’a with a sack of taro and bunches of bananas, so that traffic charges against him might be dropped.
Sioeli Vakataumai Havea (27) of Fasi died on Monday, February 4 after it is believed he was electrocuted by a low power-line that he touched while walking on Laifone Road, beside the Royal Tombs in central Nuku’alofa.
Tonga’s Solicitor General, ‘Aminiasi Kefu, said today that the Crown was dropping drugs charges against Lord Tu’ilakepa because of the complexity of the case, and also because key evidence gathered from telephone interceptions was done outside of the Tongan law.
An inquest will be held in Neiafu, Vava’u tomorrow into the death of Milan Rindzak (35), a Slovakian, whose remains were found onboard the JeReVe yacht that went aground on a reef near Luatafito Atoll, Vava’u in November 2012.
The unclaimed remains of Milan Rindzak (35), found on the ‘JeReVe’ yacht together with over 200kgs of cocaine on Luatafito Atoll in November last year, will be buried in Vava’u soon. Two months after his death there has been no contact received from his next of kin.
A six-year-old boy drowned at a public swimming pool on the seafront at Popua yesterday afternoon, January 21. This is the first death reported from drowning in Tonga for the New Year.
The case against two police constables who are charged with manslaughter in relation to the death of ‘Inoke Finau Vala Pepa (20) in Vaini was adjourned to March 11. This is to allow police prosecution to file papers to a magistrate for the case to be submitted to the Supreme Court.
A male customs officer in Vava’u has been charged with attempted fraudulent conversion in relation to using a credit card belonging to Milan Rindzak (35), whose remains were found on the wreckage of the drugs yacht ‘JeReVe’ on Luatafito Atoll in November last year.
Three violent robberies occurred in Nuku’alofa during the Christmas week.