11 So Far Charged In Tonga Passport Forgery Investigation

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Probe into false documents, illegal passport issuance continues

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Jan. 18, 2016) –Eleven people have been charged so far by Tonga Police in an ongoing investigation into alleged forgery and illegal issuance of Tongan passports.

A Police spokesperson said that November last year they have arrested and charged 11 people with various offences in relation to passport forgery.

The accused included Tongan and Chinese nationals who have pending trials in Nuku'alofa.

In November last year, four Tongan nationals were charged with forgery, receiving bribery, regarding a complaint over a passport application that allegedly used a forged birth certificate. Some of the accused were employees of the Ministry of Justice.

New charges were made last week against two Chinese men who were in Tonga allegedly on a one-week business trip. They were stopped at the airport after using Tongan passports to leave Tonga.

In this case, the Crown submitted the accused Tongan passports were forged because they allegedly have not been nationalized as Tongans.

Meanwhile, the investigation led by a Tonga Police Passports Taskforce headed by Deputy Police Commissioner 'Unga Fa'aoa, is continuing.

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