Tongan authority launches probe into claims Sofia Filo was left stranded in Australia

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An investigation is under way after a 30-year-old Tongan woman was left stranded about 500 kilometres away from Brisbane airport after the bus she was travelling on broke down.

Sofia Filo was one of a 39 Tongans group working in Queensland on the Australian Seasonal Workers’ Programme.

They were on a bus from Bowen in North Queensland to Brisbane on November 23 to catch their flight to Sydney and Tonga.

Their bus broke down at Miriam Vale 464 km north of Brisbane, about 11.30pm and they were told to rest in a park while the bus was fixed.

Sofia claimed she and two other women took a nap on chairs in the park. When the bus was fixed the women and the rest of the Tongan workers got on board and took off without Sofia.

She claimed she contacted one of her co-workers in the bus on her cellphone and she was told the bus could not return to pick her up in fear they may not catch their flights to Sydney and Tonga.

Tonga’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said they were holding an inquiry into the incident.

Ana Bing Fonua the Ministry’s CEO said they have not yet received any report regarding the incident.

She said she would check the Ministry’s information unit whether they received any information but they will investigate.

We will update you on our inquiry, she said.

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