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More court cases relating to illicit drugs this year compared to previous years

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 21/11/2019

There has been more court cases relating to illicit drugs in Tonga recorded this year compared to the past 5 years according to the Attorney General.

In her remarks Attorney General – Linda Folaumoetu’i says, this year and last year, the office of the Attorney General recorded 102 court cases in relation to illicit drugs from 70 cases in previous years – which shows the urgent call for action from government and related stakeholders in addressing the issue.

In a televised program on Television Tonga, Folaumoetu’i urged the need for government and the public to work together in combatting the negative effects of illicit drugs – which has impacted the lives of many in different aspects of life – socially, economically as well as mentally.

Superintendent Ashley Fua from the Nuku’alofa police station says, although they face challenges of lacking in resources and staff, even financial constraints, there has been great results from their police operations in charging 355 people in relation to illicit drugs cases. This was the result since the establishment of the Drug Enforcement Taskforce last year.

Meanwhile, a senior office from the Ministry of Customs – ‘Esafe Tokai highlighted the significance for those travelling to ensure they do not accept any parcel from those overseas – as it could be one of the methods used to import drugs into the country. There is a special need by the Ministry into the matter as their security x-ray at the airport is currently not working.

The Attorney General’s office continues this week on educating the public during Law Week with the theme – Fighting Illicit Drugs through Awareness.

 

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