3 May 2004

American Samoan committee wants criminal investigation into bank account

1:50 pm on 3 May 2004

There are recommendations in American Samoa that criminal investigations be launched into activities by three high profile individuals.

They include the governor's chief of staff, Pati Faiai, and the agriculture department director, Apefa'i Taifane, who have been operating a joint bank account.

The senate select investigative committee, which is charged with looking into corruption, says there's evidence that the account was used for personal spending.

Our correspondent Fili Sagapolutele says the SSIC is calling on the police and the attorney general to investigate further.

"The committee believes that this account should never be in existence and they've already made recommendations to the administration to pull this bank account, and direct it together with the general fund. But, now they're saying that they've discovered allegations that the funds are being used for non-governmental purposes."

The third person the SSIC wants investigated is Gary Sword from Express Electronics which has been accused of receiving advance payments without providing services or equipment to the customs department.