Men in court for alleged kidnapping

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Magia Luamanu, Sui Fualau, Mu Fualau and Roman Luamanu.

Magia Luamanu, Sui Fualau, Mu Fualau and Roman Luamanu.

Four men who admitted to the kidnapping of a taxi driver and left him in the boot of his car earlier this year will be sentenced next Friday.

Roman Luamanu, Mu Fualau, Sui Fualau and Magia Luamanu appeared before Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke yesterday, for prosecution to hear their submissions on what sentence they think should be impose on the defendants.

They were also ordered to be remanded in custody until their sentencing date.

Justice Leiataualesa said taxi drivers were vulnerable people of the community.

“Taxi drivers in my view are vulnerable part of the community because they are vulnerable to these types of incidences and violent against them."

“One of the factors in sentencing that comes to my mind is the need for deterrence in this type of offending against taxi drivers,” he said. 

The four defendants were also given an opportunity by the Judge to speak and all of them told the court that they feel remorseful for what they did to the victim.

The incident occurred on March 3 this year when the taxi driver was stopped and asked if he could take them to Vaoala to pick up a sack of taro from the house of the first defendant, Roman Luamanu. 

The victim got out and went to the back to open the boot when he was allegedly punched in the back of his head by defendant Roman, who went on to demand that he got into the vehicle boot. 

The victim said in his statement that he obeyed because he was scared and he jumped inside the boot. Roman allegedly sat in the driver’s seat with Sui offside and the other two at the back of the taxi.

They then proceeded to rob the taxi driver of $125 and used another $20 to buy petrol for the car, which they drove around Apia and went to Vaitele Fou using this taxi while the owner was still inside the boot.

“After their drink up they went to Pinati and had something to eat and then they drove back to Afiamalu to drop off Mu and Sui to their home while the owner was still in the boot,” stated the report

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