Man arrested after woman kidnapped in Tongatapu hotel

A man has been arrested after a kidnapping in a Nuku’alofa hotel.

Nuku’alofa Central Police Station. Photo/Kalino Lātū

Police were alerted to a possible kidnapping on November 16, a statement said this morning.

A 41-year-old man from Fua‘amotu had been arrested for assault and multiple robberies committed at different locations in Nuku‘alofa, Tongatapu, it said.

A 35-year-old Asian woman who was visiting the country was allegedly tied up in her room by the suspect. The victim was occupying a room at one of the hotels in Nuku‘alofa where the suspect was also staying, the statement said.

The suspect, after allegedly tying both the victim’s neck and hands and stuffing some clothing material into her mouth, took off with the victim’s belongings including two iphones, a gold chain and cash.

Police reviewed the CCTV camera at the hotel from which they managed to identify the suspect and immediately initiated the search for him.

While searching for the suspect, Police received another report of robbery on Monday, 20 November 2023, this time from the Small Industries at Ma’ufanga.

The robber threatened the victim, an Asian male, with a knife and took off in the victim’s delivery truck with goods inside.

With the help from the public, Police tracked the stolen delivery truck to a petrol station at Lapaha.

When Police got hold of the truck, it was empty with all the goods missing. After reviewing CCTV footages to identify the truck’s route, Police identified the robber of the truck to be the same suspect from the hotel incident, which took place a few days earlier.

Later, on Monday, 20 November 2023, Police were able to apprehend the suspect from a residence at Halaleva and they found in his possession five packs of methamphetamine and a drug utensil.

Police have managed to recover some of the stolen goods.

The suspect remains remanded until his appearance in court.

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