“Because the law says no, prostitution is not allowed, it’s prohibited in Samoa, it’s against our laws,” says Police Spokesperson, Su’a LeMamea Tiumalu who issued a stern warning for sex workers.
He was responding to Samoa Observer questions regarding a recent report by the Ministry of Health which indicates that there are an estimate of more than 40o sex workers in Samoa.
Following the weekly press conference, Su’a told Samoa Observer they are working on getting a copy of the report as they want to look at where these “sex workers” are based and to try and find out who they are.
“I came to the press conference ready to answer your (Samoa Observer) questions regarding this... I also inquired with our office if we had received a copy of the report.
“The law is clear it’s under “Laws of Western Samoa Act 1961” that prostitution is illegal.”
According to Su’a, previous complaints of prostitutes who were seen in the past, haven't been ignored by the police
“The police are still patrolling the areas, like the fale ale pulenu’u (guest house-Matagi Alalua), but I’m sure when these women see the police car, they run off. I heard this has been happening here.”
Su’a reiterated that prostitution is not allowed in Samoa. He quoted the law that anyone living on earnings of prostitution, is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.
Furthermore, the law points out that anyone who lives wholly or in part on the earnings of the prostitution of another person is also subject under this law.
“That too is illegal. Anyone who solicits for any prostitute, whether or not he receives any payment, reward or valuable consideration for so doing, is also illegal.
Further, anyone who procures or agrees or offers to procure any woman or girl to have sexual intercourse with any male who is not her husband, is also subjected under this law,” said Su’a.
The Police spokesperson emphasized that “anyone who is earning a living from prostitution, if found and convicted, will serve 10 years in jail.”
Su’a also advised sex workers, “Don't do it, because the law says no.”