Samoan jailbird found in Australia
The police in Samoa are seeking help from their counterparts in Australia to deport a prisoner on the run who managed to escape there.
The police in Samoa are seeking help from the Australian Federal Police to extradite an escaped prisoner believed to be hiding in New South Wales.
Valufitu Fiu Uolilo, who was serving a two year sentence for causing actual bodily harm and six months for being armed with a dangerous weapon, escaped from Tafaigata prison in August.
Our correspondent in Apia Autagavia Tipi Autagavaia spoke with Koroi Hawkins about the incident.
AUTAGAVAIA TIPI AUTAGAVAIA: Well according to the assistant commissioner of prisons in my interview with him on the phone yesterday. This guy who is now understood to be located in Australia escaped from Tafaigata which is our main prison at the end of August.
KOROI HAWKINS: Is this the same time as the group who drilled through the wall or something is that the same incident?
ATA: That is a different incident that is a separate a different incident because I think around four of those inmates who escaped from drilling the wall, I think were captured three or four days after they, after they ran away from the jail. This is a separate case, this guy is a separate case. The other prisoner who is alleged to be involved in some of the attacks, sexual attacks to an Australian woman and one of the employees at the Faleolo International tower that is a different escape.
KH: Right so its seems it is a bit of an ongoing problem at the prison?
ATA: Yes, yes it is an ongoing problem, there was a commission inquiry last year and the year before against the former police commissioner. And the allegations and the problems of prisoners escaping from the main Tafaigata prison was also raised in that commission of inquiry. And that was the time the prisons was under the ministry of Police. But since the separation of the two bodies , the ministry of police now and the authority managing all the prisons in the country, it is still happening.
KH: So what is the charges against this person who has managed to leave the country?
ATA: Well the inmate is serving a sentences one from the charges of actual, causing actual bodily harm and the other one of being armed with a dangerous weapon. So the other, the armed with a dangerous weapon he is serving nine months in jail and the other one is two years in jail.
KH: Is there a bit of concern about his being able to leave the country, despite his being in that situation?
ATA: Yeah well you know the assistant commissioner of prisons was telling me that there is a police investigation against several people alleged to have been involved in the escape of this prisoner who is now located in Australia. Also the question was put to him whether he thinks that the government authorities responsible for border controls needs to be, needs to look at this kind of problems because it is not the first time a prisoner or someone accused of facing charges in court managed to absconded. So I think it is a big issue now because this prisoner escaped in August and from August to September and October now the New South Wales police in Australia have located this prisoner which he is living with some of his relatives there.
KH: So have the Samoan police asked for him to be returned? To the Australian authorities?
ATA: Yes that is understood that on cases of this kind the attorney general on behalf of the police made their negotiations with the authorities in Australia the metropolitan police, the federal police there for this prisoner to be deported and bring it back here, because he is serving a jail sentence.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: