3 Jul 2006

American Samoan agency stands by report that territory losing the war on drugs

11:47 am on 3 July 2006

An American Samoan government agency is defending its recent report that the territory is losing the war on drugs.

The Police commander, Va'a Sunia, has called the report "appalling and atrocious".

But, the Office of Territorial and International Criminal Intelligence and Drug Enforcement, or OTICIDE, says it's based on facts and documented reports.

An OTICIDE special agent, Samuelu Tinai, says they can support its findings.

Mr Tinai says given the fact that the drug problem has escalated to the level it has, it's realistic to say American Samoa is losing the so-called "war on drugs".

He points to statistics on the increase of cases involving marijuana and ice methamphetamine that have been handled by the police and customs in the last two years.

Mr Tinai says the report also cites pro-active measures and recommendations in order to effectively address the drug problems if the territory is going to be successful in combating illegal drugs.