15 Feb 2006

American Samoa Senate inquire into why inter-island vessel was not seized after drug find

4:07 pm on 15 February 2006

American Samoa government officials have told a Senate committee that it's the Attorney General who makes the final decision whether or not to seize a vessel when drugs are found on board.

Police Commissioner Sotoa Savali and Treasurer Velega Savali were testifying before the committee after the discovery of marijuana onboard the Lady Naomi last Wednesday

A crew member has been charged with possession.

During the hearing, Senator Fa'amausili Mau Mau Jr., asked the two officials why the vessel was released as it should be detained while the investigation was ongoing.

He also asked what happened to the cofiscated marijuana.

Velega Savali said in this particular case, the attorney general was contacted by Customs agents, who were ordered to search the vessel thoroughly and then release it.

The marijuana found was turned over to police.