TONGA POLICE TIGHTEN BORDER CONTROL

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New presence at Fua’amotu Airport

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 30, 2010) – Tightening control of Tonga's international and domestic borders is one of the objectives of a new Fua'amotu Community and Airport Police Centre opened at Fua'amotu International Airport on July 28.

The police base located on the ground floor at the Fua'amotu International Airport is manned by five police officers who will be on duty during the arrivals and the departures of all international and domestic flights.

Police Commander Chris Kelley said in opening the office that the five permanent staff at the airport base would be supported by four staff from the Drugs Dog Section in their efforts to tighten security of Tongan borders.

He stressed that drug trafficking, human trafficking, people smuggling and other transnational crimes were currently before the court in Tonga as a result of vigilance by the police and other agencies.

"Today's initiative is a further step in tightening controls and making it harder for those who want to flout the law and use Tonga in a criminal enterprise."

He said that the new airport police base is also a commitment to community policing, border control and support to agencies that process and facilitate Tonga's international and domestic travellers such as Customs and Immigration. It would also provide services to the Fua'amotu community and surrounding villages.

The Commander thanked Mr Darin Cusack and the Tonga Airport Ltd. for providing the space for the police base.

"Police presence at the airport is nothing new but they have been absent for a number of years. Therefore we encourage all members of the travelling public to engage with our officers at the airport and to visit the office," said the Commander.

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