26 Apr 2016

Portuguese national held on drugs charges in Kiribati

1:08 pm on 26 April 2016

A Portuguese national is being held on Kiritimati Island in Kiribati awaiting his appearance at the court in June.

Cassidy Airport, Christmas Island, Kiribati

Cassidy Airport, Christmas Island, Kiribati Photo: RNZI Walter Zweifel

The man is charged in connection with possession of illegal drugs.

The Kiribati Independent said two weeks ago, police sent their investigator to Kiritimati Island to look into complaints on the islands about the man.

Inspector Tetaake Teekabwere said the man claimed he was using the drugs for treatment purposes only, but said this defence would need to be contested in the court.

In November last year, a French national was sentenced to 22 months and fined over US$3,000 for illegally living on one of Kiribati's uninhabited islands and violating the country's sovereignty.