29 Dec 2006

Samoa customs authorities suspend senior employee

2:04 pm on 29 December 2006

A senior customs officer in Samoa has been suspended following an internal investigation into the alleged smuggling of a vehicle which belongs to a former Assembly of God church minister.

The suspended senior employee, Alapati Lamositele, is alleged to have been involved in the smuggling and the releasing of the vehicle without going through customs procedure.

It's the second right hand vehicle found by the custom's special working committee since the new chief executive officer for the Ministry of Revenue, Silafau Paul Meredith, was appointed in the past two months.

Two weeks ago a right hand pick up was uncovered by customs officers in a container of spare parts for the Worship center church.

Meanwhile a member of the working committee says the former AOG church minister initially denied that his vehicle was smuggled in via a container.

However, he later admitted and explained everything when the matter was referred to the Public Service Commission for further inquiries.