29 Oct 2009

American Samoa probes post-tsunami price gouging

2:37 pm on 29 October 2009

Investigations are underway in American Samoa into complaints about price gouging following last month's earthquake and tsunami.

The probe is being carried out by the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office.

The Assistant Attorney General, Kevin Kornegay, has called on those who believe they have been the victim of price-gouging to contact Consumer Protection and provide details.

Mr Kornegay says the most recent instances of alleged price gouging involved items such as milk, butter, sugar and eggs in the grocery section.

He says hardware and home construction items are also targets.

Governor Togiola Tulafono has already issued an executive order saying that a price gouging law is in effect due to the current state of emergency and prices on any goods sold cannot be increased by more than 10 percent.

Price gouging is a Class A misdemeanor, and businesses can be fined 1,000 US dollars an instance, and up to 25,000 per day if they are found guilty.