23 Feb 2006

Samoa government official on drugs and gun charges

2:25 pm on 23 February 2006

A Ministry of Justice staff member in Samoa has been suspended and charged in connection with a raid by police earlier this month which led to the arrest of eight suspects.

Akenese Taupo, faces charges of party to possession of narcotics, obstruction of a police officer, possession of a weapon, and two counts of possession of live ammunition without a permit.

Ms Taupo was at the home of one of the suspects when police arrived and she attempted to flee from the scene after allegedly making a phone call to notify one of those whose homes was searched.

Her lawyer Toleafoa Solomona Toailoa said it was a far-fetched attempt to link the defendant to the drug defendants now before the Supreme Court.

Bail has been denied until the narcotics charge against Ms Taupo comes up for mention in the Supreme Court on February 27th.