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Nuku’alofa – August 13, 2021: 1.55pm (TONGA WIRES): The three foreign nationals who were arrested and charged in relation to a cocaine haul in Vava’u were released on bail, at the Magistrate’s Court in Neiafu on Thursday.

Their case was adjourned to be called again on August 17.

The accused are Ian Robin Cox a British national, his wife Brenda Cox and Calvin Manuceau who are both Americans. They all lived at Houmelei in Neiafu.

The lower court confirmed that their bail conditions, which included surrendering their passports to the court, prohibition of travel outside of Vava’u and they are placed under night time curfews from 6pm to 6am.

They must also report once daily to the local police station.

On August 2, Tonga Police arrested the three, and seized almost 7kg of cocaine, at the couple’s workshop, a rented residence in Houmelei.

They were detained in police custody after being charged with possession and other charges relating to the illicit drug.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Tongan accused who were arrested in relation to a cocaine that allegedly washed ashore in Vava’u, remain in police custody.

Their cases are also expected to be called on 17 August, at the lower court.

To date, 12 people have been arrested and charged regarding over 14kg of cocaine, which has an estimated street value of over $5 million pa’anga (US$2.2 million).

In July, the first packets of cocaine were handed over to Tonga Police, after being washed up on Vava’u beaches triggering a large search operation, on the outer island.

Last year similar packets were found in Ha’apai and in Lau, Fiji.

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