The police will destroy close to 300 illegal firearms that they recovered during their operations.
Commissioner Fuiavailiili Egon Keil said questions remain on how the firearms were brought into the country as Samoa does not manufacture weapons or ammunition.
“This coming Thursday (today) at the police headquarter at 10 o’clock we have little less than 300 firearms that we will be destroying, just like what we did back in 2015. So these weapons will be destroyed there and we will destroy more guns if we discovered more guns,” he told the media.
“I invite you to come to the headquarters and take a look at other weapons that we do have and hopefully in the near future we will have another gun amnesty to try and get rid of these guns here.
“These guns here like rifles (and) hand-guns and as such they got no place in Samoa we need them out of Samoa and we don’t need them.”
Transnational crime in the Pacific Islands has led to an escalation in guns and smuggling with Fuiavailiili emphasizing that it was the job of the police to address it.
“Samoa does not make guns, we don’t make ammunition as well somehow these firearms and ammunition is coming into our shores, so the question is how is it coming in? That’s one of the things that we are trying to discover and stop because it’s not just happening here in Samoa, it’s happening all over the region as well. And that’s part of our job to try and stop transnational organised crime.”
The Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Center (P.T.C.C.C) is based in Apia and plays a key role in coordinating the work of transnational crime units located in 17 other Pacific Island states. A key function of the P.T.C.C.C is to promote collaboration and enhancing intelligence sharing skills through its members and the network.