18 Feb 2013

Samoa PM calls on police to stop chasing away street vendors

5:12 am on 18 February 2013

Street vendors in Samoa have got the prime minister's support to continue selling their goods around the town in areas in front of shops.

This comes after police chased away vendors from their usual spots and confiscated most of their goods.

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, says police officers should concentrate on other important duties and not chasing the street vendors.

Tuila'epa says these people are working to earn some money to look after their families and the police should seriously consider it.

The assistant police commissioner and spokesperson says it's clear under the police offences act that people can sell goods, including food on the street, provided they pay a 25 US dollar fee to the police for a permit as well as payment of a business license to the Ministry of Revenue.

However, the prime minister says he suspects a local business operator may be behind the police move.