12 May 2009

Samoa immigration officer undergoing re-training after complaints

1:23 pm on 12 May 2009

An immigration officer in Samoa has been disciplined over poor service she provided to a businessman from American Samoa who visited Samoa last month.

Randy Ellis lodged a complaint with the Immigration Department after his Filipino wife's passport was kept at Faleolo airport by the officer.

Mr Ellis says the officer did not provide an explanation except to say that it was Samoan law.

He says he and his wife had travelled to Samoa several times before and her passport had not been held by officials.

Mr Ellis says in his complaint that the immigration agent claimed it was a Samoan law that all passports from Asian countries must be held at the airport office until that person leaves the country.

The businessman claims that the immigration officer wanted a bribe.

Samoa's Principal Immigration Officer, Henry Taefu, has sent an apology to Mr. Ellis and he says that the officer has been suspended and is undergoing re-training.