Passport royal commission uncertain, TPPT investigation continues

The Royal Commission approved by the king to investigate Tonga’s passport scandal has yet to be launched and its mandate is uncertain.

The Tongan government said the investigation is currently being conducted by the Tonga Police Passport Taskforce (TPPT) led by the Police Commissioner Steve Caldwell.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the TPPT reported to the cabinet once a month.

It said the government is closely studying the reports to determine whether or not there is still need to launch the Royal Commission.

The Office said the Commission would be a costly process while the TPPT operations had been proved to be cheap and effective.

Earlier this year Caldwell said the TPPT had made 11 arrests in relation to fraudulent passport activities. Kaniva understands some of those cases are being heard in court in Nuku’alofa since last week.

“The police are taking these matters of national security very seriously indeed. The role of police is to maintain law and order and uphold the rule of law, and in doing so police investigate crime by gathering the best evidence available to support the prosecution of any charges laid by the police in a Court of Law,” Caldwell said

“Because of the complexities and wide scope of this investigation, the completion of this investigation may take some time.”


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