22 Feb 2007

Police in two Samoas plan beefed up campaign against drug smugglers

10:32 am on 22 February 2007

American Samoa's Commissioner of Public Safety, Savali Sotoa Savali, says he and Samoa's Police Commissioner Papalii Lorenese Neru have outlined a general plan to tackle drug trafficking between the two Samoas

However more detailed discussions will be held next month and will involve the Narcotics divisions from the two police departments.

Sotoa says he will be traveling to Apia again early next month with three officers from the Narcotics Division for meetings with the Samoa Police force.

Sotoa had asked for stricter surveillance of cargo bound for Pago Pago by vessel and air since these seem to be the common method used to smuggle drugs into the territory.

The Samoa Police Commissioner pointed out that police are not involved in checking cargo at the airport and dock, and that this comes under the jurisdiction of customs.

Sotoa agreed that there was also a need to involve customs in their consultations.

He said airport and dock inspections in the territory are also handled by customs and police are not called in until contraband has been found.

The commissioner says he and his Samoan counterpart will both solicit comments from Customs on the possibility of having police work alongside customs agents at the airport and dock from time to time.