TONGA RIOT PROBE YIELDS 702 ARRESTS

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NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Dec. 13) - By this morning, the Tonga Police had arrested a total of 702 suspects involved in the violent riot that destroyed central Nuku'alofa on November 16.

Tongan Police Commander Sinilau Kolokihakaufisi said that over 600 of the 702 had already been charged for the main offences of arson, theft and other crimes in connection with the looting and burning of businesses in central Nuku'alofa.

He said there were currently 107 suspects detained in police custody for questioning and there would be more arrests to come, as investigations into the crimes committed were ongoing.

The first appearance of the people charged will begin on December 20 at the Nuku'alofa Magistrate's Court.

Meanwhile, the identities of the five remaining bodies found at the site of the Shoreline fire are still awaiting identification from DNA samples send to Australia for processing.

The police have already identified two of the seven bodies that were discovered.

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