19 Mar 2009

Investigation in American Samoa into smuggling stalled by lack of passenger list

4:21 pm on 19 March 2009

In American Samoa, investigations into the smuggling of marijuana from Manu'a on the ship, MV Sili have been stalled as there is apparently no passenger list for domestic voyages.

The police department's vice and narcotics division were keen to speak to passengers who travelled on the voyage of the MV Sili of March 7 from Manu'a.

But they were told by Port Administration that there's no manifest.

Customs, acting on a tip that marijuana was on board the vessel, conducted a surprise search when the vessel arrived in port.

They found marijuana stuffed in an envelope that was discarded next to a vehicle that was on board, and in a bag that was taped to the ceiling of a crew member's cabin.

A senior police investigation said he was shocked to hear that the MV Sili does not have a manifest for voyages between Tutuila and Manu'a.

He wonders how Port Administration can account for passengers and cargo if an accident occurred.