13 Oct 2003

Termination of American Samoan customs agent overturned on appeal

6:34 am on 13 October 2003

An American Samoan customs agent has been reinstated by the courts after being suspended for allegedly changing official documentation.

Pau'uulu Lagai was suspended for altering a flight manifest to show a lower baggage wight for a Samoan passenger known to be a cigarette smuggler.

She was placed on leave earlier this year while a customs internal investigation was conducted.

The investigation recommended that she be suspended, but a legal challenge to that decision resulted in her being reinstated.

Her attorney is quoted in the Samoa News as saying his client had an excellent track record and had helped to uncover several attempted marijuana shipments in past years.

She had also assisted in the prosecution of a businessman who tried to bribe customs officials three years ago.