19 May 2008

American Samoa prosecutor welcomes conviction of local store owner

10:08 am on 19 May 2008

An American Samoa prosecutor hopes a guilty verdict returned against a Chinese business owner for receiving stolen property will deter what he believes is a widespread crime in the territory.

A 6 women jury convicted Xue Mi Bai of buying 10 cartons of cigarettes knowing they were stolen property.

A burglary took place at the home of another store owner in Ottoville last May.

The burglar turned up at Bai's store and sold her 10 cartons of cigarettes for 200 US dollars.

This is the same store to which computers stolen from the Department of Education warehouse were sold.

Assistant Attorney General Faamomoi Masaniai welcomed the conviction

"I believe that this is a step in the right direction, so we can start closing down the black markets that are located on the islands of Tutuila and Manua. If we continue to go after the stores that are supplying this black market what will eventually happen is that the ASG will recover the correct tax revenues."