25 Jul 2016

Claims diplomatic passports still being sold in Tonga

10:19 am on 25 July 2016

A publisher in Tonga claims the Kingdom is more corrupt now than ever before.

Kalafi Moala, publisher and political activist, said the new more democratic Government has failed to stop corrupt activities going back many years.

He told a recent Transparency International meeting in New Zealand that corruption is rife in Tonga.

Mr Moala said a graphic example is the sale of passports, typically diplomat passports, which had been going on for more than 20 years.

He said passports are still being sold and are avidly sought after by members of Tonga's Chinese community.

"For example there is a couple who are still not yet brought into the courts that are known to have been in possession of 7 diplomatic passports."

"These are not civil servants or people who have any kind of authority in government but they are diplomatic passports that have been given or sold to them," he said.

Kalafi Moala

Kalafi Moala Photo: AFP