Mystery body found on yacht in Tonga

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 06:58 15/11/2012

Relevant offers

South Pacific

The long walk to water: How hard can it be to carry 20 litres through steep, remote bush? OPINION: Our Pacific neighbours in Vanuatu are dying for a drink Astronomers discover 114 new planets Air Force Orion crew locates drifting Tongan boat Underwater volcano erupting near Tonga Waiheke Island takes a stand over double-deckers Powerful quake hits off Papua New Guinea Strong quake hits off Solomon Islands CIA files: Libyan efforts to build a South Pacific united revolutionary front Tongans dying on NZ roads leave grieving families struggling to cope

A multinational police investigation is underway in a remote area of Tonga after the body of a badly decomposed man was found aboard a grounded yacht.

Tongan police commissioner Grant O'Fee, who is a former New Zealand detective, told Matangi Tonga (matangitonga.to) that the grounded yacht Jereve had been found aground on a reef at Luatafito Atoll, 20 kilometres from the Vava'u group in northern Tonga.

He said police in the United States, Australia, the Cook Islands and Tonga were investigating but would not comment on whether drugs were involved.

Remote Tongan islands have, in the past, been used as a transhipment point for getting drugs into Australia and New Zealand.

"The yacht is being treated as a crime scene since a death occurred. Police at this stage have not ruled the death as suspicious but it remains an unexplained death," O'Fee told Matangi Tonga.

O'Fee said that the body, of a Caucasian, had not been identified, as well as the cause of death.

"But I can confirm that this man is not a Tongan national but a palangi," he said.

Tongan police are working in partnership with the Australian Federal Police in a thorough examination of the crime scene.

At the same time Tongan police along with Tonga Defence Services are conducting a maritime recovery exercise for the yacht, which remains stuck on the reef on the atoll, he said.

Several marine brokerage websites list a 13.4-metre Jeanneau cruiser called Jereve for sale in Panama.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content