DSM Duzgit Venture e1563864941120

The Tongan government is poised to act against a Turkish-owned fuel tanker that allegedly cut its optic fibre cable, plunging the kingdom into a communication blackout.

Tonga first lost its connection to the world on January 20, with The Kingdom losing internet and mobile service for more than two weeks.

"I'm sure some legal action will take place. Someone has to pay because it cost us two million dollars." Police Minister Mateni Tapueluelu told 1 News.
The Turkish owned Duzgit Venture regularly brings essential fuel and gas to the Pacific.

"We have our procedures for disaster recovery, but we never thought in a million years we expect something to happen." Tonga Cable CEO Edwin Liava'a says.

Although the government and Tonga Cable have not released a name as to who they believe is responsible, 1 News understands the Duzgit Venture is a primary focus in this investigation.

Satellite images and data indicate the tanker was at the same place and same time as the four breaks in two different cables, and it is believed the cuts were caused by a dragging anchor.

Mystery also surrounds why the Duzgit Venture arrived on a Sunday despite vessels being barred from entering the port area on the sabbath.

The tanker also made an unusual circular track across the no anchor area where the cables were cut.

The company says its representatives met with the Tongan Ports Authority in February and will continue to cooperate.

The company's fleet manager Kursad Ozturk says they will make further comment once the facts have been assessed.

Source:   tvnz.co.nz