Police closer to nabbing ‘head of the octopus’ after latest arrest, says Minister of Police

Puke 'e he kau polisi ha taki tila faito'o konatapu ka ne 'ikai fakahā mahino 'e he Minisitā Polisi' ko hai hono hingoa'. Na'a ne pehē ko e kamata eni ke fakaofi atu ki hono puke kau taki tila'. Ko e ngaahi puke kuo lele mai ko e kau tufa pe ia mo e kau ifi'. Na'a' ne pehē kuo hoko foki e faito'o' ni ko ha makatu'unga ia 'o ha pisnisi fakafāmili. Na'a' ne toe pehē 'e 'ohovale e fonua' ha ngaahi puke 'amui ko e kakai lelei mo falala'anga pea lotu ia 'i he nofo ka kuo nau hoko ko e kau taki mu'a hono tufaki e faito'o konatapu'. Ko hono fakahā eni 'e ne Minisitaa' hili foki ia hano puke ma'u mo e faito'o konatapu 'o Sione Filipe Leka ko e foha ia he fono' 'o Looti Tuita mo Pilinisesi Pilolevu.

The Minister of Police Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu said one of the drug lords in Tonga had been arrested, although he did not name or specify them.

He said Police were moving closer to arresting more drugs lords in Tonga.

He said most of the drugs arrests Police have made were only those who distributed and consumed the illicit drugs.

We are closer to arresting the ‘ulu’ifeke (the head of the octopus – referring to the drug lords), the Minister said.

“Pea kuo mou ‘osi fanongo pe kuo ‘osi puke toko taha,” he said in Tongan.

This translates into English as: “And you have heard one has been arrested.”

Family business

It has been revealed that selling of illicit drugs has become the basis of family businesses in the kingdom, Hon. Tapueluelu said in a recent televised public panel discussion.

He warned that the public would be shocked to find out that some public figures, including church leaders, had been involved in drug dealing.

These drug dealers included leading people who appeared to be of good character, well behaved and trusted in the community, the Minister said.

He said a recent drug arrest at Fahefa by Police involved parents and their own children.

Hon. Tapueluelu made the revelation shortly after Princess Pilolevu’s and Lord Tuita’s son-in-law, Sione Filipe Jr, was arrested and charged with the unlawful importation of illicit drugs, unlawful possession of illicit drugs, possession of firearms and ammunition without a license and making a false declaration on arrival card.

A Tongan senior customs officer appeared in court last month following the seizure of more  than $US2.5 million dollars worth of illicit drugs along with illegal firearms and ammunition.

Paula Naitoko, 59, faces nine charges for engaging with others to import illicit drugs and for aiding and abetting the importation of illegal firearms and ammunition.

The main points

  • The Minister of Police Hon. Mateni Tapueluelu said one of the drug lords in Tonga had been arrested, although he did not name or specify them.
  • He said Police were moving closer to arresting more drugs lords in Tonga

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