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Monday 9 February 2015 | Published in Regional


NUKU‘ALOFA– Tonga’s Friendly Islands Shipping Agency has suspended its chief executive Vakautapola Vi, local media reported on Friday.

Vi has been suspended for two weeks while investigation was underway, reports said.

The shipping authority did not release the reasons for the suspension but the news quoted Tonga’s Infrastructure Minister, Etuate Lavulavu, as saying the MV ‘Otumotu Anga’ofa has been ordered to only take 150 passengers on its regular travels to outer islands. This meant the vessel would no longer carry up to 400 passengers it normally carried.

Last year the vessel was reported as having an accident in Niuatoputapu. It was later reported it was taken to Lautoka in Fiji for dry dock maintenance after cracks were found inside a ballast tank.

A news report said the Port of Authoirty and Marine Department were not informed about the maintenance of the vessel in Fiji.