27 Sep 2008

American Samoa police to probe Department of Agriculture special account

7:42 am on 27 September 2008

An investigation has been launched into the handling of monies for import fees, permits and other monies collected by the Department of Agriculture

The funds are supposed to be deposited in a special account administered by Agriculture, but according to Acting Commissioner of Public Safety Filifaatali Mike Fuiava the acting DOA director has asked for a criminal probe because the account has not seen much activity in the last two years.

The special account collects the fees that businesses and individals pay to import taro, bananas, fish, water melons and other agricultural produce from Samoa, Tonga and other islands, proceeds from fees charged for vetrinarian services, sale of fertilizers and export permit fees for US pork and poultry products sent to Samoa.

Filifaatali says detetectives of the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Bureau have been assigned to the case.

He said at this stage it's not known if any criminal activity has taken place.