16 Oct 2007

American Samoa probes alleged impropriety in immigration cases

6:28 pm on 16 October 2007

An investigation is underway in American Samoa into alleged impropriety in the handling of immigration cases.

Sources say the probe is focusing mainly on personnel in the Immigration Division, but others in the Attorney General's office and other government agencies are also being questioned.

Officials handling the case say the probe was sparked by the removal in May of two students by the department of Education because their immigration papers were not in order.

The high school students have since returned to class.

Information received by KHJ News indicate that while researching the status of the two students, authorities have found evidence of bribery, forged documents, abuse of authority and improper handling of immigration fees.

A territorial government official described the immigration probe as one of the biggest cases of white collar crime that has surfaced.