23 Jun 2003

Samoan opposition leader claims records of staff debtors to national airline destroyed

10:31 am on 23 June 2003

Samoa's opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati has told parliament that records of debts amounting to more than one million 350 thousand US dollars owed by staff to Polynesian airlines were burnt at Faleolo International airport by people he knows.

Le Mamea said the debts could not be collected because there was now no record of them.

He told parliament that he would bring forth those who burned the records if asked and tabled a list of staff members who owed the airline money.

It was revealed several years ago that Polynesian Airlines extended allowances to staff which were really loans.

The prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele, called on Le Mamea to table proof of the debts and proof that they were burnt at Faleolo.

He said records of who owed money were no use to him as they were in Polynesian accounts and need not be searched.

What he wanted was proof that documents were burnt for the purpose of hiding something.