9 May 2012

Concerns over availability of firearms in Samoa

4:36 am on 9 May 2012

The editor of the Samoa Observer newspaper says the possession of firearms seems to be on the increase in Samoa and is often associated with drugs.

Mata'afa Keni Lesa says Monday's shoot-out during a police drug raid wasn't a big surprise and says narcotics are behind a lot of the crimes being committed now.

A man from the family suspected of cultivating marijuana was shot dead and three police officers were wounded, one seriously, at Faleatiu village near Apia.

He says it's a concern that the family in question have firearms at their disposal whether it's illegal or not.

"There are definitely weapons that are making way around Samoa through various individuals. It's a big question mark of whether those weapons are really for the protection of farms and plantations or whether they are used for purposes such as drugs and stuff like that."

Mata'afa Keni Lesa says the authorities need to focus their attention on clamping down on drug dealers.