3 May 2014

Samoa Govt legislation proposes selling Samoan citizenship

9:36 am on 3 May 2014

A Samoa government draft legislation that would see Samoa citizenship up for sale for as much as 440,800 US dollars has drawn criticism.

The Samoa Observer reports through the Citizenship Investment Bill 2014, a citizen from any country who is willing to invest a million tala in Samoa - after a series of checks outlined in the Bill - could become a citizen three years after.

The paper also reports that eventually the person granted citizenship can own land.

A prominent Samoa lawyer, Leota Raymond Schuster, has drilled a number of holes in what he called an extreme piece of legislation.

He also takes issue with the possibility of bringing in an investor's spouse, children and immediate relatives.

Leota says it's unfortunate that the government is resorting to this in order to generate income because that is the only purpose for this proposed legislation.

He also adds the fact the government thinks they need to resort to rich people to bail Samoa out of its financial woes was unfortunate.

Pacnews reports the Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai, was contacted via email for comment.