Police investigating suspected wooden raft found on beach where cocaine washed up in Vava‘u

    Police are investigating whether or not there was a connection between a wooded raft they have seized and the packages of cocaine worth of more than TOP$4 million washed up in Vava’u recently.

    Detective Acting Deputy Commissioner Halatoa Tāufa said the raft was discovered on the Ha’alaufuli beach on which the cocaine packages washed up.

    He denied allegation on social media that the raft was used to transport the cocaine.

    The allegations were made under a picture of the raft which was shared to Facebook.

    The seizure of the raft and the cocaine last week came after a cargo ship was spotted anchoring off the island’s coast last year.

    Hōleva Town Officer Uele Moala said the presence of the ship at the time was suspicious. He said it was claimed the ship was awaiting a pilot but that was strange to happen in that particular sea area.

    He said he complained to the authority about the incident.

    Police have made several arrests last week following the discovery of the cocaine which included seven people in Vava’u and one from Tongatapu. The suspects included Tongans and foreign nationals.

    They were expected to appear in the Magistrate Court in Neiafu tomorrow August 9.

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