Arrests after 30kg of kava allegedly stolen from Tongan church

By and is republished with permission

Two men have been arrested after 30kg of kava was allegedly stolen from a Tongan church in Auckland’s Papakura in March.

According to police, The United Church of Tonga was broken into overnight on March 13.

Several items were taken, including a number of guitars, speakers and more than 30kg of kava.

“At around midnight, Police received a report of some loud banging followed by two men seen outside the Oshannessey Street property,” Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Taylor said.

“Police attended and checked out the outside of the property and could not find anything amiss. However, the following day, the victim noted the downstairs area had been broken into.”

Taylor said “extensive” investigations were carried out to identify the two alleged offenders. This included reviewing CCTV and making “other inquiries”.

“As a result, two search warrants were executed in the Papakura area, and most of the stolen property was recovered and returned to the church.”

Two 31-year-old men were charged with burglary and will appear in the Papakura and Manukau District Courts later this month.

“This is a great result for our staff and our community,” Taylor said.

“It is awesome to be able to return items of great importance to an outfit such as a church that had been stolen.”

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