A 50 year-old man from Kolofoʻou, has been sentenced in the Nukuʻalofa Supreme court on Friday 28 July to five years imprisonment on passport fraud charges.

Justice Charles Cato suspended the last 12 months of his sentence.

The man was charged with passport offences which included false declaration, forgery, knowingly dealing with forged documents and bribery.

This case involved conspiring with people including government servants to forge documents in  support of an application for a Tongan passport for a foreign national.

Deputy Commissioner Viliami ʻUnga Faʻaoa said: “Since the Passport Taskforce began on 25 August 2015, 32 arrests have been made to date in relation to the passport investigation, with 13 persons pleading guilty and 19 persons awaiting trial”.

“This sentence sends a very clear message about the seriousness of the offending and a deterrent to people tempted to commit such crime in the future,” said Deputy Commissioner Faʻaoa.