Two men arrested with cocaine, 700 rounds of ammunition in Vava‘u

Two men have been arrested following a police operation in Vava’u during which cocaine, firearm and ammunitions were seized.

Vava’u Police station

A 49-year-old male from Ta’anea was arrested with 254.72 grams of cocaine at Neiafu on Sunday, 14 November 2021, police said in a statement.

Police also arrested a 38-year-old male with a .22 long rifle and more than 700 x .22 ammunition on Tuesday, 23 November 2021.

Both suspects are in police custody while police investigations continue.

“I take this opportunity to acknowledge members of the community who have been helpful to Police in providing timely information.” Said Detective Acting Deputy Commissioner Halatoa Tāufa.

“The nation’s fight against illicit drugs to create a drug-free Tonga is possible only through our collective efforts.”

Meanwhile, an appeal by the two foreign nationals who were arrested in Vava’u in August 2021 and charged with possession of a substantial quantity of cocaine was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Ian Robin Cox and Brenda Cox appealed against the decision in the Supreme Court at Vava’u on 8 October 2021 whereby Justice Cooper refused to extend the applicants’ bail as earlier granted by the Magistrates Court and remanded them in custody pending their trial , which has been tentatively listed to commence in May 2022.

The couple were charged after a raft carrying ‘bricks’ of cocaine washed up on ‘Otualea beach in Vava’u.

Police claimed that in the week of 19 July 2021 , the cocaine was found by Nōmani Naeata who then distributed it to various individuals including the couple.

The Coxes were granted bail to appear before the Supreme Court in the said proceedings, as and when required, on the following conditions, namely:

(a) they must not commit any offence punishable by imprisonment;

(b) they must not leave Vava’u without a court order;

(c) if they have not already done so, they are to surrender their passports to the Court registry in Vava’u forthwith;

(d) their names are to be added to the no-fly list;

( e) they are to report to the Neiafu Police Station once a week; and

(f) Mr Cox is granted permission to travel to Tongatapu for work purposes, during which , he is to report to the Central Police Station in Nuku’alofa once each week.

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