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Autopsy Into Body Found On Yacht In Tonga Inconclusive
Cause of death unknown, authorities say foul play not likely

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 19, 2012) – An autopsy report has confirmed no foul play or injuries were evident in relation to the death of an unidentified European man whose badly decomposed body was found on the JeReVe yacht that was stuck on a reef off Luatafito Atoll, in Vava'u, Tonga, with over 200 kilograms of cocaine last week.

The Police Commissioner Grant O'Fee said this afternoon, that the autopsy done over the weekend found no evidence of foul play or injuries on the body.

However, they were not able to determine the cause of death or confirm identification due to the extent of decomposition. "But we have sent samples to Australia for further analysis," he said.

He said the haul of cocaine had been brought down to Tongatapu for analysis. "But we have not determined how and when the drugs will be disposed of," he said.

More than 200 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated street value of AU$116 million [US$119.9 million], was seized by Tongan authorities on the wreck of the yacht. Police believed it to be one of the largest seizures of narcotics in the South Pacific region.

The Australian Federal Police had received information from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency during August 2012 regarding a small yacht carrying cocaine en-route from Equador to Australia, and an investigation started. It was under International Multi-Jurisdictional Law Enforcement operation spanning four countries from the United States, Australia, Cook Islands and Tonga.

On November 7, local divers discovered the body after spotting the yacht on the reef and informed the Tonga Police at Neiafu.

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