Princess Pilolevu’s son-in-law arrested for alleged importation of illicit drugs as Police arrest 17 others in separate incidents

    Kuo puke 'e he kau polisi' 'o faka'ilo 'a e foha-'i he - fono' 'o Looti Tuita mo Pilinisesi Pilolevu', 'a Sione Filipe leka pe Johnny Filipe Jr tukuaki'i ki hono hū ta'efakalao 'o ha faito'o konatapu ki Tonga. Kuo malu'i ki tu'a 'a Filipe pea 'oku 'amanaki ke ne hā 'i he fakamaau'anga'. 'Oku mali 'a Filipe mo e 'ofefine fika ua si'i taha 'o Pilolevu mo Tuita' 'a Hon Frederica Lupeuluiva Fatafehi ‘o Lapaha Filipe.

    Princess Pilolevu and Lord Tuita’s son-in-law, Sione Filipe Jr, has been arrested and charged with the alleged importation of illicit drugs.

    It is understood he has since been released on bail.

    Kaniva news has been aware of the arrest for two weeks, but had been unable to get confirmation from Police.

    Minister of Police Mateni Tapueluelu finally confirmed the arrest to Kaniva news this afternoon.

    He said it was “true Filipe Jr was arrested and is bailed, but has been formally charged for importing illicit drugs.”

    No further details were available. It is not known  whether or not Filipe’s arrest was connected to some of the other drug related arrests about which Police released statements last week.

    Filipe, who is also known as Johnny Filipe, married Princess Pilolevu’s second youngest daughter, Hon. Frederica Fatafehi ‘O Lapaha, who is a niece of king Tupou VI.

    Further arrests

    Police said this afternoon that during the Easter Public holidays, they arrested 17 people at three different locations in ongoing drugs operations.

    Police said that on the night of Friday, April 19,  the Drug Taskforce arrested 10 men at a residence in Hofoa and seized 30 packs of methamphetamine (24.07 grams), nine packs of cannabis (2.88 grams), drugs paraphernalia, four live .22 bullets and cash.

    Nine men have been charged with unlawful possession of illicit drugs while the 10th man was charged with unlawful possession of ammunition.

    The men arrested include:

    1.         A 44-year-old man from Hofoa

    2.         A 39-year-old man from Tu’atakilangi

    3.         A 27-year-old man from Kolonga

    4.         A 41-year-old man from Vaini

    5.         A 45-year-old man from Ha’alalo

    6.         A 39-year-old man from Popua

    7.         A 45-year-old man from Longolongo

    8.         A 48-year-old man from Havelu

    9.         A 29-year-old man from Hauloto

    10.       A 19-year-old man from ‘Utulau

    Following the arrests at Hofoa, at about 6am on April 20, the Drug Taskforce arrested five men at a residence in Havelu where they seized 15 packs of methamphetamine (5.65 grams) and two bottles of homebrew, drugs paraphernalia and cash. Police charged them with the 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.

    About 5am on April 20, 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 four packs of methamphetamine (1.18 grams), 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,” Deputy Police Commissioner Vaisuai said.  

    Airport drugs arrest

    Last week Police said they had arrested and charged a 34-year-old Tongan man after Quarantine Officers at the Fua’amotu International Airport intercepted 242.22 grams of cannabis seeds being illegally brought into the country on March 30.

    A search warrant executed at the accused’s residence in Tofoa resulted in the seizure of another  85.33 grams of cannabis liquid, together with illegal firearm and ammunition.

    He has been charged with the unlawful importation of illicit drugs, unlawful possession of illicit drugs, possession of firearm and ammunition without a license and making a false declaration on arrival card

    The suspect will appear at the Magistrate Court on April 29.

    $3 Million drug bust

    Last week police also seized about $US1.2 million worth of methamphetamine during a drug operation.

    A 28 year-old-man was arrested with the drugs at his residence in Fahefa.

    Police Commissioner Stephen Caldwell thanked the public for its support in helping rid the community of drug peddlers.

    The main points

    • Princess Pilolevu’s son-in-law Sione Filipe Jr has been arrested and charged with the alleged importation of illicit drugs.
    • It is understood he has since been released on bail.
    • Kaniva news has been aware of the arrest for two weeks, but had been unable to get confirmation from Police.
    • Minister of Police Mateni Tapueluelu finally confirmed the arrest to Kaniva news  this afternoon.

    For more information

    Tonga steps up fight against drugs

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