Mastermind of TOP$2 million meth smuggling scheme faces 12 and-a-half years in jail

A man convicted of trying to smuggle 1.9kg of  methamphetamine from Tonga to New Zealand has been sentenced to 12 and-a-half years in jail.

As Kaniva news reported earlier this month,  Viliami Mangisi, 59, was found guilty of trying to export the drugs through Fua‘amotu International Airport in May 2018.

He was originally charged with three counts of possession of Class A drugs, the attempted export of illicit drugs and failure to make declaration to Customs Officer.

The methamphetamine was estimated to have a street value of $TP2 million.

The court was told Mangisi arranged with an airport cleaner, Samuela Fonua, to smuggle the drugs into the airport and hide them in the departure lounge so he could pick them up on the way to the plane.

The plan came unstuck  after a shift leader at the airport spotted Fonua acting suspiciously and told his manager who called the police.

Mangisi proclaimed his innocence in court, saying that his bag had contained tobacco and that police had planted the drugs on him.

Fonua gave evidence against him.

Mr Justice Cato, who heard the case in the Supreme Court, has been quoted by Tongan media as describing Mangisi as “the mastermind who corruptly co-opted Fonua in his plan it seems for little or no reward.”

“In my view, a condign sentence is required as deterrence and to protect society from offenders who participate in and promote this evil trade.”

Because he had not co-operate with the police, no part of his sentence would be suspended.

The sentence would begin from the date Mangisi was first taken into custody.

The main points

  • A man convicted of trying to smuggle 1.9kg of  methamphetamine from Tonga to New Zealand has been sentenced to 12 and-a-half years in jail.
  • As Kaniva news reported earlier this month,  Viliami Mangisi, 59, was found guilty of trying to export the drugs through Fua‘amotu International Airport in May 2018.

For more information

Drug smuggler Viliami Mangisi faces sentencing

Mangisi gets long jail term for “evil trade” in meth

https://matangitonga.to/2019/11/22/mangisi-gets-long-jail-term-evil-trade-meth

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