10 Oct 2003

Samoan police wary of foreigners abusing children

4:49 pm on 10 October 2003

The Samoan minister of police is warning paedophile tourists to stay away from his country.

Ulu Vaomalo Kini says convicted paedophiles should not expect leniency from the Samoan justice system.

He was speaking after the conviction of an Australian yachtsman who was found guilty of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old Samoan youth on board his boat.

The 49-year-old was sentenced to almost three years in prison. He is also facing charges of importing indecent material.

The minister says Samoa will not tolerate its children being harmed and any person who does so, resident or tourist, will be found, prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

He has arranged for his warning to be published internationally, so visitors are aware of local laws.