PM laments Customs breach


Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has ordered a full report regarding an incident where a boat from American Samoa entered Samoa waters without Customs Clearances. 

During a press conference with the media yesterday, Fiame said that border security should have seized the Kite Runner owned by a businessman in American Samoa Papalii Laulii Alofa, upon arrival at the Mataufu wharf. 

However, Fiame said government officials scrambled to get all the necessary clearances for the boat, which should have never happened in the first place. 

The Prime Minister says, according to reports, the boat docked at Matautu then to Mulifanua before heading to Savai’i when the police intervened and seized the boat and escorted it back to Matautu. 

Furthermore, the government leader said the involvement of government officials to get the last-minute required paperwork is not a good look, citing there is a failure in border security in this matter. 

As reported yesterday Police Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo issued a stern warning against boats from American Samoa heading to Samoa, the need to have customs clearance on hand, prior to entering its borders.

He said international law must be upheld regardless and the incident this past weekend is a classic example. Foreigners on Samoan waters must abide by our laws; otherwise, there will be consequences and it does not matter who owns the vessel.