2 Dec 2004

American Samoan airport security guard fined for carrying a pistol in his luggage

4:11 pm on 2 December 2004

An American Samoan airport security guard has been fined just over 650 US dollars for carrying a pistol in his luggage as he tried to leave Samoa.

Fifty-six year old year old Kapeteni Filiva'a was caught with an automatic pistol at Faleolo International Airport.

The weapon was spotted by an X-ray detector while he and his wife were on their way back to American Samoa.

Filiva'a says he intended to explain to security at Faleolo International Airport about the pistol and how they brought it back into American Samoa inadvertently and that they were returning it.

Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Vaai dismissed his claim that he needed the pistol to shoot pigs for his mother's headstone dedication, saying it was so pathetic that could not be considered a mitigating factor.

The defence counsel Patrick Fepuleai said that there was concern about air safety and as a security officer the defendant should have known better.