A dancer, boxer among seven in French Polynesia imprisoned for drug trafficking

Seven people in French Polynesia, including a dancer and a boxing champion, have been jailed for up to six years for their role in trafficking nearly two kilograms of methamphetamine since 2019.

Ariitea Putoa
Photo: Provided

The six-year sentence was handed down to network frontman Manava Akau, whose hip-hop group, All In One, made the 2018 semi-finals of France‘s top TV talent show.

Akau is also involved in a separate case, which has yet to go to court, relating to the seizure two months ago of $50 million worth of methamphetamine from the first cruise ship to arrive from the United States since 2020.

The court sentenced the 2020 French amateur super-heavyweight boxing champion, Ariitea Putoa, to four years in prison. Putoa also fought professionally but retired after eight fights, including two losses.

The other five were sentenced to shorter prison terms.

The seven were arrested in March during an investigation sparked by the discovery of 74 grams of drugs smuggled into Tahiti by a hip-hop dancer returning from the United States in 2019.

Methamphetamine use is considered a major problem in French Polynesia, with authorities estimating that more than 10,000 people regularly use it.

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