2 Aug 2005

Concerns at American Samoan soldiers travelling in Samoa without the proper documentation

7:03 pm on 2 August 2005

Concerns are being raised in Samoa over American Samoan soldiers travelling through the country without proper documentation.

The soldiers are reported by the Samoa Observer to have been using American military identification cards.

The Immigration Chief Executive, Auseugaesa Va'asatia Poloma Komiti, says Samoa does not recognise the cards as valid travel documents.

Under the law in Samoa travellers are required to posess passports.

It's reported that many of the soldiers are finding they have to go via Samoa because the only airline operating between Honolulu and Pago Pago, Hawaiian Air, is often fully booked weeks ahead.

The Immigration Chief Executive says it's common practice that in such cases that American Samoan immigration authorities will intervene and a compromise is reached.

He says they usually make a special exemption.