20 Dec 2010

Investigation launched into plane leaving American Samoa with debt

11:32 am on 20 December 2010

American Samoa's Attorney General's Office is to determine what the government can do about the former South Pacific Express plane that left American Samoa without obtaining a customs clearance and payment of a more than US$100,000 dollar debt.

The Director of Port Administration, Matagi Ray McMoore, says the matter has been turned over to the AG's office and he understands that an investigation has been initiated.

He says SPEX has an unpaid debt of US$150,000, most of which is for landing fees for the aircraft.

The aircraft was purchased by Guam based Freedom Air and was ferried to Guam on December 2.

Representative Alexander Jennings who co-piloted the plane to Guam said the owner of Freedom Air Joaquinn Flores has assured that there was no intention to violate regulations and the plane was not secretly flown out.

He says there was no lien on the aircraft to stop it from leaving.