17 Nov 2008

Samoa Police Commissioner says he was shocked to find guns sent to him

7:17 pm on 17 November 2008

Samoa's Police Commissioner, Papalii Lorenese Neru, has told a Commission of Inquiry investigating the illegal import of firearms, he was shocked to find guns inside a box of personal effects delivered to him from American Samoa.

The police commissioner has described the contents of the box, which was brought to Samoa on the police patrol boat, MV Nafanua, as a set-up against him because he never expected it.

The box addressed to the police commissioner was handed to the captain of the patrol boat, Logoitino Filipo, by Papalii Marion Fitisemanu, an American Samoa police captain before the boat left Pago Pago for Apia last April.

Papalii Fitisemanu quit the force after being charged in relation to the removal of guns from a police evidence room in the territory.

Papalii Lorenese Neru had the firearms in his possession for almost two weeks before two police officers from American Samoa retrieve them.

Meanwhile the captain of the vessel has completed his evidence in which he agreed the weapons were brought in illegally on the boat, because he was not given the proper clearance documents by Papalii Fitisemanu.