15 May 2002

Samoa department warns that sale of customary land is illegal

2:52 pm on 15 May 2002

Samoa's Lands, Survey and Environment Department says it is concerned by a number of attempted illegal sales of customary land.

The department's director, Tu'u'u Ieti Taulealo, says it was alerted to the attempted sales when buyers wanted to register deeds of ownership.

Tu'u'u says there was one or two enquiries by interested buyers and he says people have also enquired about selling customary land by telephone.

He says one man wanted to register his purchase of customary land after he had spent 100-thousand US dollars buying it.

Tu'u'u says the purchase was illegal so making a registration was impossible.

The department has issued a public notice to remind citizens that such sales are against the law.

Customary land makes up about 80 percent of Samoa's acreage.

Of the remaining land six percent is freehold and the rest is in government hands.