Drug trafficking

Dancer, boxer among seven in French Polynesia jailed for drug trafficking

The six-year sentence was given to the leader of the network, Manava Akau, whose hip hop group, All In One, made the 2018 semi-final of France's high-profile televised talent show.

Akau is also implicated in a separate case, which is yet to go to court, over the seizure two months ago of $US50 million worth of methamphetamine on the first cruise ship to arrive from the United States since 2020.

Cocaine, geography and COVID-19, drug trafficking in the Pacific

In July, an estimated 14kgs of cocaine washed up on beaches in Vava'u.

Tongan police seized the haul and an ongoing investigation has seen 21 people charged so far including three foreigners.

At the end of August, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Tonga Police Halatoa Taufa told Matangi Tonga the recent arrests included a 49-year-old man and his 23-year-old wife from Ta'anea, Vava'u on August 23.

The couple are in police custody charged with engaging with others in the supply of illicit drugs.

Samoa govt considering tougher penalties for drug traffickers

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said on TV3 Samoa that there was a need to reconsider penalties of drug convictions.

His remarks follow a seizure last week at the wharf where Police confiscated 900 grams of methamphetamine.

A December bust found some 500 grams of the same drug, which the Ministry of Customs and Revenue said was a record haul for law enforcement.

"This is not a new issue and under the current law, it says that a fine (of) up to $100,000 (can be imposed). The key word is 'up to' meaning there can be no fine," Tuilaepa said.