17 people arrested in Tonga drug raids

Tonga Police have arrested 17 people in ongoing drug operations over the Easter holidays.

Drug Taskforce officers arrested ten men from a residence in Hofoa and seized 30 packs of methamphetamine, 9 packs of cannabis, drugs paraphernalia, 4 live .22 bullets and cash late Good Friday night.

Nine men have been charged with unlawful possession of illicit drugs while the tenth person has been charged with unlawful possession of ammunition.

The suspects are a 44-year-old man from Hofoa, a 39-year-old man from Tu’atakilangi, a 27-year-old man from Kolonga, a 41-year-old man from Vaini, a 45-year-old man from Ha’alalo, a 39-year-old man from Popua, a 45-year-old man from Longolongo, a 48-year-old man from Havelu, a 29-year-old man from Hauloto and a 19-year-old man from ‘Utulau.

Early Saturday morning, Police arrested five men from a home in Havelu.

Officers seized 15 packs of methamphetamine, two bottles of homebrew, drugs paraphernalia and cash.

Police have charged the suspects with unlawful possession of illicit drugs and unlawful manufacture of intoxicating liquor.

The five men arrested include three men from Havelu aged 27, 38 and 43, a 22-year-old from Tofoa and a 29-year-old from Houma.

On the same morning, frontline police from the Central Police Station stopped and arrested a 26-year-old woman from Touliki and 20-year-old man from Houmakelikao on Salote Road at Ma’ufanga, who had in their possession 4 packs of methamphetamine, cash and drug paraphernalia.

“Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug and very harmful not only to those who use it, but it negatively impacts on families and the wider community,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Pelenatita Vaisuai.

“These arrests should reassure the community that preventing and disrupting methamphetamine and other illicit drugs supply is a high priority for Police. We will continue to target those who supply drugs within our community, and hold them to account for their crimes,” she said.