1 Jul 2008

Arms movement between Samoas queried

1:42 pm on 1 July 2008

Questions are being asked over how quickly police in Samoa told their counterparts in American Samoa about alleged arms smuggling.

Samoa's Minister of Police and Prisons has confirmed police are investigating claims in court documents filed in Pago Pago that guns were smuggled into Apia from American Samoa on the police patrol boat, MV Nafanua, in April.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller, says it appears information may only have been exchanged recently:

"Now what is unclear is when exactly the Attorney General was informed by the Commissioner of Police in Samoa that the guns had been received from American Samoa, because the statement from police that came out about two weeks ago, is that the Commissioner of Police had notified authorities here and had also notified the Attorney General in Samoa, but I do not know when exactly that happened."

Monica Miller in Pago Pago

A former police captain in American Samoa, Papalii Marion Fitisemanu, is said to be in Alaska and has yet to hand himself in after being charged with five counts of embezzlement and possession of a prohibited weapon.