24 Aug 2006

Samoa urges American Samoa to respect visiting leaders

1:29 pm on 24 August 2006

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has called on the American Samoa authorities to respect chiefs and elders when they are being checked by immigration authorities.

Tuila'epa told Governor Togiola Tulafono that several complaints had reached his office over the issue.

The prime minister said that one of the visiting chiefs was almost attacked by a sniffer dog attracted to food inside his hand luggage.

But Tuila'epa reaffirmed his full support on the policy of using sniffer dogs at ports of entry to find illegal drugs.

Governor Togiola has told reporters that his government will look into the matter but it won't stop customs using the territory's only sniffer dog.

The Samoan police also have plans to bring in a sniffer dog.