14 Feb 2006

Cocaine said to be target of recent Samoa drug swoop

9:34 am on 14 February 2006

It's emerged that police in Samoa seized suspected cocaine valued at more than US$360,000, during simultaneous raids last Tuesday which resulted in the arrest of eight people.

Seven handguns were also seized during the joint operation by Samoan police and the Transnational Crime Unit.

The Police Commissioner Papalii Lorenese Neru told the newspaper, the Samoa Observer that about 570 grams of narcotics, suspected to be cocaine, were seized.

Those arrested in the raids are said to include prominent citizens alleged to be part of a large scale drug syndicate with ties to foreign countries.

Members of the group, including one woman are set to begin appearing in court today.

Meanwhile suggestions have been made in the Samoan Parliament for the country to acquire sniffer dogs to help the fight against hard drugs.

The MP Leanapapa Laki told the Samoa Observer that the fact that local residents had been charged with methamphetamine possession, indicated that the drug had slipped past customs at the point of entry.