Youth gang strikes again

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia ,

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The youth gang threatening members of the public, accused of assaulting innocent people and stealing their food has struck again.

This time, they picked on a group of workers at a local restaurant in the Apia Township who had just gotten off work.

The business owner who did not want to be named in fear of future threats to his business and his workers raised concerns about what’s becoming a regular routine and disruption from the young group.

Last Saturday, some of the workers from the small business were confronted by the gang.

“Our workers had just finished work and were sitting in front of the building drinking some bottles when they saw them,” he said. 

“It was late at night and they were waiting to go home until some of them confronted our workers and asked for their bottles and food. Our workers told them to leave but they retaliated and started throwing stones.

“It caused a big fuss and our employees came out to chase them away but they continued to throw stones and ran towards Mulivai.”

He added the incident had caused fear among them with the possibility of the youth gang striking again and burning down their business. 

The matter was reported to Police.  

According to the businessman, even the taxi drivers from the stand around the area fled the scene, wanting to avoid the damage to their vehicles.

He warned that if the government does not deal with the problem, it poses a serious threat to the future of Samoa.

“It really reflects badly on our tourists and that can affect our economy,” he warned. 

“They are not going to stop. It has become the norm for these kids to threaten individuals and take whatever they want. We were lucky our business was not damaged but we fear they could return.”

On Monday this week the village mayor of Apia, Tuiletufuga Siaosi Tuiletufuga made it clear that the youths were not from their village. 

However, with the growing concern from members of the public about the youth gangs the village has acted with men from the village monitoring the streets. 

"They are causing trouble in Apia giving our village a bad name and we do not accept that,” said the mayor. 

“Our village has met over the issue and the matai and men of our village are keeping an eye on these trouble makers…The difficult thing is catching them because I know they plan their attacks at odd hours – when our men are not seen.”

 Two weeks ago several cases of individuals and groups of people that regularly hang around town had reported threats and being assaulted by the gang of youths. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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