Former rugby league star Manu Vatuvei has been released on parole after serving a third of his prison sentence.

He was jailed for three years and seven months in March 2022 for importing about 500g of methamphetamine and amphetamine from India.

The Parole Board met to hear his case last month and its written decision was released on Friday.

The 37-year-old was released on 31 May.

At his sentencing on 2 March, 2022, the court heard Vatuvei became involved in a drug ring after a sequence of unfortunate life events, including a marriage breakup and forced retirement from professional sport.

The court heard he was also influenced by the activities of an older relative who had a leading role in a relatively sophisticated drug importation business.

The Parole Board said it was satisfied Vatuvei's low risk of reoffending, safety plan, and comprehensive support in the community meant he could no longer be regarded as an undue risk.

The board imposed a number of special conditions on his release, including the non-association with the Comancheros and Killer Beez gangs. While there was no evidence Vatuvei had ever been associated with the gangs, the provision was imposed as a precaution.

He must also attend a drug and alcohol assessment and may be required to undergo a drug or alcohol test and submit to drug and alcohol monitoring.

Vatuvei will take up a role with the Warriors Rugby League Club as a mentor.

The position is part-time and a voluntary role to help deliver programmes to young players around careers and best choices.


2023-06-02T01:12:38Z dg43tfdfdgfd