Tongans named over drug bust face charges of possession and importing meth

    Three Tongans have been charged in New Zealand’s biggest drug bust.

    They are  Ulakai Fakaosilea , Amoki Matoto Fonua  and Malachi Damien Tuilotolava.

    Fakaosilea and Fonua have been charged with importing/exporting and possession for supply.

    Tuilotolava has been charged with importing/exporting, possession for supply, participating in an organised criminal group and money laundering.

    Tongan Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva  told Parliament when he returned to Tonga after his state visit to New Zealand that he had been told a number of Tongans were involved in the drug deal.

    The three Tongans were among six men arrested on Ninety Mile Beach and at Totara North in June. They have been remanded, without plea, to November 9.

    Northland Police seized 494kg of methamphetamine, estimated to be worth half a billion dollars.

    They were led to the haul after a boat was abandoned on the beach.

    It appears the men had been trying to re-launch the boat, offering large sums of money to locals for their help.

    It is believed they had recovered the drugs from the sea.

    Police later found another boat and a stash of drugs buried in the sand.

    ABC news in Australia described the arrests as the result of “bungling boating by a group of landlubber drug smugglers.”

    The main points

    • Three Tongans have been charged in New Zealand’s biggest drug bust.
    • They are Ulakai Fakaosilea, Amoki Matoto Fonua  and Malachi Damien Tuilotolava.
    • Fakaosilea and Fonua have been charged with importing/exporting and possession for supply.
    • Tuilotolava has been charged with importing/exporting, possession for supply, participating in an organised criminal group and money laundering.

    For more information

    Men connected with Northland meth bust named

    New Zealand police make record drug bust after alleged smugglers bungle boat launch

    More meth found in record drug bust

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