Vietnamese national caught with 6.16 grams of marijuana, fined and deported


A Vietnamese national caught with 6.16 grams of marijuana at the Airport last month has been fined and deported out of Samoa. 

Vo Nanh Ha appeared before Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke yesterday for sentencing. 

The defendant was transiting through the Faleolo International Airport to Fiji for Vietnam when his luggage containing two coffee jars was flagged by Customs after it went through the X-ray screening. 

The jars contained marijuana. 

The defendant arrived in Samoa on 1 September 2022 and was to leave Samoa three days later, when he was arrested for the drugs found in his luggage. 

Defence lawyer Quentin Sauaga sought a discharge without conviction sentence on the basis that Ha is a university graduate and has no previous conviction and noted that his month in jail is a sufficient penalty. 

And while Justice Clarke agreed, the jail term already served pending his case is an adequate penalty but cited the quantity of drugs found in his possession. Furthermore, the court cited several similar cases. 

His Honours took into account the defendant’s early guilty plea and that he’s a first-time offender and convicted him.