23 Jul 2015

American Samoa church group accused of child trafficking

5:42 pm on 23 July 2015

American Samoa's police chief, Save Liuato Tuitele has confirmed his staff are looking into allegations of child trafficking and exploitation involving a church group.

American Samoa police headquarters

American Samoa police headquarters Photo: Supplied

Last month local media reported the concerns of LBJ Hospital paediatrician Tangra Broge, who suspected a young patient of hers had been smuggled into American Samoa and made to sell food items for her caregivers and their church.

Save says the criminal investigations division is now looking into the probe, which is focussing on a church denomination with branches in Leone and Tafuna.

He says it appears members of the church are bringing in children from Samoa to sell food items in the name of the church.

It is understood the couple who brought the girl into the territory are to face charges in the Family, Alcohol and Drug Court.