Frustration mounts for stranded Greeks in Tonga as food and money runs out

The Greek tourists whose passports were confiscated by the Tongan Police have no food and money while they wait to be allowed to leave the kingdom.

As Kaniva News reported this morning, the tourists were about to board a plane from Tonga to Auckland last Wednesday when Immigration New Zealand notified Tongan Police that six of the Greek passports had been reported stolen or lost to Interpol, while one failed a scan test.

A reliable Tongan government source has confirmed Tongan Police were still investigating the Greek passports.

The case has been linked to a joint operation conducted by the international law enforcement agencies, the source said.

The manager of the Green Lodge in Tofoa, Tongatapu where the tourists were staying came forward after Kaniva News ran the story.

Tupou’ahau Fungavaka said she and his family had offered to provide the Greeks accommodation and food under a credit deal since they were returned from the airport.

“We have agreed they would pay me back and they said they would receive some money from Greece today and we are waiting for it,” Fungavaka said.

She said one of them was sick and she had offered to pay for his medication.

One of the tourists was a young boy she thought was about the age of somebody in class five at Primary School, Fungavaka said.

“Last night I told them we have run out of money and can no longer provide them with the food they want,” she said.

“I told them they would have to eat together with us.

“The only food we have is soup and Tongan food.”

She said the Greeks were dying to return home for their studies and work, but they were still waiting for their passports.

None of them spoke English, the second official language in Tonga, which is used for communication with other ethnicities.

Fungavaka said an interpreter from overseas was helping their communication with the Greeks via telephone.

She was concerned about who would repay her for the cost of housing and feeding the tourists if they were unable to return home and did not receive the promised financial assistance.

She wanted to know whether or not the Tongan government could help in situation like this.

The main points

  • The Greek tourists whose passports were confiscated by the Tongan Police have no food and money while they wait for permission to leave the kingdom.
  • The tourists were about to board a plane from Tonga to Auckland when Immigration New Zealand notified Tongan Police that six of the Greek passports had been reported stolen or lost to Interpol, while one failed a scan test.
  • Tupou’ahau Fungavaka, the owner of the Green Lodge in Tofoa, Tongatapu where the tourists are staying, said she and his family had offered to provide the Greeks with accommodation and food under a credit deal.
  • But she said that last night she told the tourists they had run out of money.

For more information

Investigation after Greek passports seized in Tonga following complaint by Immigration NZ

 

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