8 Apr 2009

Fishing boats in Samoa to be searched for drugs and guns

12:42 pm on 8 April 2009

The police and customs canine unit in Samoa will now start carrying out searches on all boats before and after fishing out in the open sea.

The new measure is part of a policy to counter attempts to smuggle illegal drugs and firearms into the country.

The fishing boat owners and their crew have been advised of the daily searches.

The decision also follows a Television New Zealand report which revealed that several deported young Samoans from New Zealand and the US are alleged to have been involved in gun smuggling and illegal drugs in Samoa.

The Police Commissioner, Papalii Lorenese Neru, says the television report is being taken seriously and New Zealand and Samoa police are working together to investigate the allegations.

Meanwhile, the television report has raised a few questions.

One of men shown in the TV footage says they were told by the reporter that the pictures would be used in a programme about gang problems, and not in a story about drug and gun smuggling.