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Criminal deportees are threats to the Pacific Region

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 16/03/2017

Criminal deportees are one of the three main threats to the Pacific Region based on the 2016 Transnational Organized Crime Assessment. The threats include Methamphetamine with Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs.

Deputy Police Commissioner – Pelenatita Vaisuai said, Criminal deportation refers to the removal of an alien (non-citizen) after committing a criminal act in the country effecting deportation.

She made the presentation during the National Deportation Reintegration Conference yesterday and said at least an average of 35 criminal deportees return to Tonga every year.

USA has returned at least 700 criminal deportees since 1992, an average of 29 criminals a year and up to 40% of criminals deported to Tonga were from NZ.

Majority are males between the ages of 25 – 35.

Common offence includes, common/aggravated assault and aggravated robbery/burglary/theft, drug-related charges.

DP Commissioner Vaisuai then read out short profiles of about 10 deportees she cited as examples of those who were deported for serious crimes they committed overseas and when they returned home they continued the habit and most of them are now serving prison sentences for crimes committed in Tonga.

Vaisuai said from the police perspective for a way forward, Tonga needs to have in place, legislation for better protection and to advance a formal arrangement (MOA) between Tonga and deporting countries.            

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