18 Apr 2011

Samoa considers deportation of prominent overstayers

5:27 am on 18 April 2011

Samoa Immigration is awaiting advice from the Attorney General to deport a number of Asian business people who are overstayers.

A Senior Immigration official has told Talamua online that some overstayers are prominent businesspeople who are sponsored by high government officials.

It has also emerged that they are using a single business license to operate several businesses in violation of Samoa's laws.

The Immigration investigation was prompted by a directive from the Immigration Minister, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

The directive follows complaints from the Chamber of Commerce that Chinese businesses appeared to be violating the Foreign Investors Act which preserves retail enterprises for locals.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labour, Auelua Samuelu Enari, has confirmed that several Asian-owned supermarkets are under investigation .

He says two Chinese-owned businesses have lost their licenses because they did not satisfy requirements of their Foreign Investors Certificates.