8 May 2012

Drugs to blame for a lot of crime in Samoa, says editor

3:08 pm on 8 May 2012

The editor of the Samoa Observer newspaper says yesterday's shoot-out during a police drug raid wasn't a big surprise and says narcotics are behind a lot of the crime now.

A man from the family suspected of cultivating marijuana was shot dead and three police officers were wounded, one seriously, at Faleatiu village near Apia.

Police say they were shot at as 30 or so officers approached in a convoy, but the family say the police opened fire first.

The Samoa Observer Editor Mata'afa Keni Lesa, who wrote an editorial piece last week with the view that violence has become part of everyday life, says drugs are at the heart of much of the crime.

"If you look what's coming out of the court and the concerns that are being expressed by judges everyday that the number of marijuana users it's growing, it's a real concern and now this has happened, so what it has done now is redirect the attention towards the battle against drugs."

Mata'afa Keni Lesa.

The police haven't made any arrests yet in relation to the shootings.