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Extra charges proposed to deter those involved in drug-related crime.

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 23/01/2020

CEO of the Ministry of Revenue & Customs hopes extra charges should be added to the current charges for those involved with drugs.

Kelemete Vahe says, the concern is because those involved with drugs do not take charges seriously as the punishment is too lenient.

Vahe adds, the current charges allows drug dealers to take it lightly and therefore, he recommends the Ministry of Justice to make amendments to the law for punishing them according to the heaviness of the crime.

Vahe hopes Tonga would soon apply the charges carried out in overseas countries. He used NZ as an example where if a person if found with 1kg of cocaine, results in life imprisonment.

He also talked about the conspiracy act where Tonga should also charge those who assisted with the delivering of drugs. According to Vahe, a person found with 2 to 5kg of cocaine or cannabis should serve 20 years in jail whereas the person behind the whole drug operation should at least get a minimum of 30 years in jail.

Vahe believes that with this, it will lessen the cases involved with drugs in the country.

The Ministry’s emphasis for this year is on border security.

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