Georgians on fake passports deported from Tonga after paying fines

Seven Georgians who were caught using fake Greek passports at the New Zealand Immigration office in Tonga were deported on Friday.

They had paid their $6,000 paʻanga fine to the Supreme Court before they left the kingdom in a process the deportation procedures normally used by Tongan immigration was not used because they “intended to depart voluntarily”.

Radio New Zealand International reported the group, which includes a ten year old boy, flew to Fiji on Friday with plans to go to Europe.

A court document said the Georgian citizens “flew to Turkey and there obtained  passports  that  were  Greek  and  had been stolen from a person more popularly  known as a people smuggler for a sum of about US$8000 each”.

Koba Shinjkashvili, Zaza Tsikarishvili, Nino Menabdishvili, Genadi Gacechechildaze,  Mai Garibashvili and Dato Dekanoidze used these passports to enter Tonga intending to later gain entry to New Zealand.

When they attempted to obtain a permit to enter New Zealand their deception was discovered in September.


The Georgians were convicted and sentenced to two-year imprisonment but the Supreme Court suspended the imprisonment.

They were also ordered to pay fines of TOP$1000 each.

In his ruling Justice Cato said: “It is a serious matter to use fraudulent means to enter Tonga for any reason and as a platform from which to illegally enter other countries.

“This Court must send out a deterrent message that offenders will be treated harshly by the Courts for offending of this kind”.

The document said the Georgians were cooperative with the Tongan authorities after they were arrested.

They paid for their return flights while their basic needs had been catered for by Tonga’s Ministry of Police.


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

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