15 Oct 2008

Samoa probe into gun smuggling to open

3:42 pm on 15 October 2008

The Samoa commission of inquiry into the smuggling of guns from American Samoa is set to begin tomorrow.

A five-member Commission will sit through to Friday, with the option of additional days if required.

The Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma chairs the commission whose deliberations are mostly open to the public.

It will focus on the alleged smuggling of weapons from American Samoa into Apia on the Samoa Patrol boat, the Nafanua.

A former police captain in the American Samoa Department of Public Safety Papalii Marion Fitisemanu is awaiting sentence for possession of a prohibited weapon in connection with alleged smuggling.

Four weapons that Fitisemanu had removed from the American Samoa Department of Public Safety evidence room were recovered from the Samoa police armoury.

Investigators from American Samoa have been told by the captain of the Nafanua that Fitisemanu delivered a box addressed to the Samoa Police Commissioner on the day the patrol boat travelled from Pago Pago for Apia.