10 Apr 2009

Samoa's Tautua Somoa party questions TVNZ report

1:39 pm on 10 April 2009

The Tautua Samoa Party is questioning a report by Television New Zealand alleging a growing culture of illicit drugs and gun smuggling in Samoa.

The paper, the Samoa Observer, says the news item depicted Samoa as a country dogged by gangsters walking around smoking marijuana and armed with machetes and axes.

Aired by a local television station on Sunday night, the item reported a roaring trade in illegal drugs and guns in Samoa.

It said the profits from marijuana and methamphetamine smuggled into Samoa from New Zealand are being used to buy guns from the United States.

The Chairman of Tautua, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, says he was surprised by the revelation.

He says the country has problems with drugs just like any country.

He has called on the government Government to get to the bottom of the allegations.

But he says if they are found to be untrue, then the Government should demand an apology from TVNZ.

Furthermore, he says the reporter concerned, Barbara Dreaver, should be banned from the country.