3 Feb 2004

American Samoa to expel prostitution ring leaders

3:34 pm on 3 February 2004

The assistant Attorney General in American Samoa, Tala Uiaagalelei, says he expected jail terms for two ring leaders involved in a prostitution ring.

Wei Li Fang of China and his defacto Samoan wife, Siitu Sanerivi, were given a seven year suspended sentence and fined several thousand US dollars for promoting prostitution, using girls from Samoa.

Tala Uiaagalelei says the pair, which had been in remand for a year, have been given two months to leave the territory.

"I did expect that they would serve a little bit more jail time, but it came out that their jail time was suspended, and credited for the time they served already, and so they are ready for deportation, which is good."

Mr Uiaagalelei says the case highlighted people bypassing immigration laws, but says the government has to deal with that.

He says the case has sent a strong warning to people thinking of engaging in such illegal activities, to think twice.