Ex-policeman sentenced for bribery in Tonga

The Supreme Court in Tonga has sentenced a policeman to three years imprisonment for bribery.

Fanguna Alalea pleaded guilty to a charge of offering a bribe to a member of the Tongan police.

At the time he was an officer from Tu’atakilangi.

According to Kaniva News, on July 13 last year Constable Tu’amelie Fifita, a member of the Drugs Enforcement Taskforce was talking with members of his family in front of the old yacht club on Vuna Rd when he was approached by Alalea.

Alalea told Fifita he was looking for somebody willing to do a job in exchange for money for a drug dealer.

The two men agreed to talk further about the matter the next day. Fifita told Alalea to meet him in the car park near the club. He waited there with a policewoman, WPC Otuhouma.

Alalea arrived and offered Fifita TP$2000 if he would steal some methamphetamine from the evidence room at the police station.

Fifita told him this would be difficult because the drugs had been sent to New Zealand for testing.

Alalea told him to take the money, which Fifita refused to do. The accused then left, leaving the money with Fifita.

Fifita and WPC Otuhouma immediately reported the matter to their commanding officer. Alalea was arrested the next day.

Alalea said he had been given TP$2000 by Sione Filipe Jnr whom he met when Filipe was arrested for importing Indian hemp. Filipe asked him obtain drugs from the police editing room.

An original plan to charge Filipe with the bribery offence was dropped due to what was said to be doubts about the evidence.

Lord Chief Justice Whitten, presiding, sentenced Alalaea to three years in prison with the last year suspended for two years on condition that he be placed on probation and undertake a drug awareness course.