8 Apr 2005

Report alleges corruption in Samoa customs department

3:56 pm on 8 April 2005

A report alleging corruption in the Samoa Customs Department has been leaked to local media.

The report was sent by the Audit Office to the Minister of Customs in January, but only now has the report surfaced and been made public.

The full report was published in today's Samoa Observer newspaper.

In the report, the investigations on the department carried out by Controller and Chief Auditor, Tamaseu Leni Warren, reveal questionable activities including a loan scheme, which benefitted public servants.

The report reveals an amount of 80,000 US dollars being unaccounted for, a quarter of which was allegedly taken by one person alone.

The Observer states an unnamed cabinet minister as also being implicated.

Investigations began after the Audit Office uncovered discrepancies in the department's accounts during a routine check of all government departments last September.

Similar reports are said to have been compiled on the Airport Authority and Health Ministry, which have also been under public scrutiny in recent months.