Man and woman accused of passport fraud appear in court in Tonga

A woman and a man have appeared in court after charges against their roles in an alleged fake passport scheme.

Tongan passports. Photo/Kaniva Tonga

Malia Musie Halaifonua ,38, and Jim Joseph Dwyer Manu Tupou, 27, both from Vainī had been accused of assisting Teau Faletau, 41, from Kolonga in providing what appeared to be a falsified passport to allow William James Purdy to travel to Fiji in March.

It is understood, Halaifonua and Tupou had recently appeared in court before a judge had postponed their trial.

In 2015 Tonga Police’s  Passport Taskforce launched a crackdown on  fraudulently issued passports.  

In 2016 four people convicted on passport forgery related offences were given jail terms.

The four were ‘Isileli Kaumavae, Sione Sosefo ‘Ahohako, Sione Kivalu Heleta and Ola Tameifuna.

In 2017, a 50-year-old man from Kolofo’ou was sentenced to five years in jail for forging passports.

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

“The case involved collusion with government workers and others to forge documents in support of an application for a Tongan passport for a foreign national”.

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