Tonga Immigration Department. Photo/Kalino Lātū

The Supreme Court has sentenced a Sri Lankan man who entered the kingdom on a forged French passport to two years jail.

Vaseeth Samsudeen pleaded guilty to two counts of knowingly dealing with a forged document.

In his report on the case, Lord Chief Justice Paulsen said  Samsudeen entered Tonga on May 10 last year.

Samsudeen  told Police his life had been threatened after witnessing the murder of aid workers in 2006.

He entered the UK illegally in 2010 and was deported to Sri Lanka in 2015.

He told Police that he entered Tonga after flying to Fiji from Hong Kong, where he paid a large sum of money for the forged French passport.

The court was told Samsudeen had co-operated with police.

He first appeared in court in December 2018, but was released on bail while the court made further enquiries.

The court was told Samsudeen had been provided with information about the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

However, there was no indication he had sought assistance from the UNHCR.

The court suspended his sentence on condition that Samsudeen leave Tonga within two months of sentencing.

He was ordered not to leave Tongatapu until then.

He was ordered to pay TP$1000 to the court by May 17.

His Sri Lankan passport is to be released to him only upon approval from a Supreme Court Judge and after payment of the TP$1000 and the purchase of his ticket.

The main points

  • The Supreme Court has sentenced a Sri Lankan man who entered Tonga on a forged French passport to two years jail.
  • The man’s sentence has been upended on condition that he leave the kingdom within two months.

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