Foreign criminals have got a strong warning from Samoa's top legal office after two Chinese nationals were convicted of the theft of $US27,500 dollars from ATMs in Apia.
A lawyer from the Attorney Generals Office, Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa, during her summary at the District Court, is reported to have said Samoa will not tolerate criminals who come to take advantage of the vulnerability of a small country.
The Samoa Observer said the court was told the Chinese used ATM skimming devices and counterfeit cards to steal the money from the Bank South Pacific.
The lawyer was reported as urging the court to apply a hefty sentence as a deterrent.
She reportedly told the Court this was the first instance such a crime has been committed in Samoa.
The defendants remained in custody after being found guilty of all 16 charges.
They will be sentenced next week.