A 33 year old Catalin Razvan Veverita of Romania who is accused of stealing money from an A.T.M of a local bank, has been granted bail.
Appearing before District Court Judge Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma, Mr. Veverita was represented by Leota Tima Le’avai.
Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa is the prosecutor.
Yesterday, Leota informed Judge Fepuleai that she was not in the position to enter a plea.
“The last time this matter was up for mention it was adjourned for today’s bail hearing pending the final charges,” said Leota.
“So I am not in a position to enter a plea.”
District Court Judge Fepuleai granted bail for the accused.
“You are to be remanded till the 18th of July for counsel to obtain further instructions and to enter a plea to the charges,” said Judge Fepuleai.
“The Court will grant you bail on the following conditions. Firstly you have to surrender all travel documents and your mobile phone to the Registrar and secondly you are to report to the Apia Police station every Tuesday and Thursday.”
“Prosecution is also ordered to serve all charges to Ms. Leavai by 4pm today.”
Last month the Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, told the media that that these types of incidents are growing in the Pacific.
“I want to advise all the customers out there in the banking industry, to please check your bank accounts to make sure that there’s no illegal or unauthorized A.T.M. money that was taken out,” he said.
“I won’t say which bank it is but I will just say generally to check your A.T.M. cards and A.T.M. transactions to ensure that those A.T.M. transactions are yours.”
“If is not, then please report the matter to your banking industry and institution and also bring it to the attention of law enforcement so we can stop this transnational crime.”
“It’s not just happening in Samoa but all over the region. Again this is a Romanian national who came into Samoa and did the A.T.M. scamming here. He was caught and he’s going to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The Commissioner could not disclose details about the transactions.
“Right now I’m not at liberty to say how many transactions or how much money was taken but there is the mere fact that we’ve been very proactive in this arena in stopping transnational crime from occurring not only in our country but throughout the region.”
“With the Pacific Transnational Crime Network (P.T.C.N.) which is housed in Samoa, we track and we coordinate and communicate with our partners all over the region like Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia to stop transnational crimes from occurring.”
“This is exactly what’s happening right now and it is through the hard work of the women and men in blue in the Transnational Crime Unit (T.C.U.) that’s bringing these criminals into justice. They are stopping them from victimizing not only the people from the Pacific, especially here in Samoa, and we will continue to do the best we can to keep our nation safe and sound.”
The Commissioner acknowledged the help of the public and the bank.
“We want to thank the public and also the banking industry for their cooperation and assistance in this matter in arresting and bringing these individuals into justice,” said Fuiavailili.”
“We’ve been working very intelligently with the P.T.C.N to stop these kinds of crimes transnational crime coming into to Samoa.”
“According to the law enforcement most of the crimes are reported by the public. So without the public’s help and assistance not only in reporting it and also helping us with the prosecution.”
“We will make sure that we will stop these crimes and stop these people from victimizing everyone.”
“I also want to send a message out there to those folks who want to come in Samoa and commit these types of crimes here that Samoa police will not tolerate these kinds of transnational crimes. We will find out and we will prosecute them.”
“We are not doing it alone but we are working together with Attorney General whose going to be doing all the prosecution in Samoa now.”
Getting back to the Romanian national, Fuiava said: “Well usually this is a ring that is occurs in the region and it’s not just one individual, its organized crime. Essentially that’s what it is.”
“It travels in different island and victimizes people from different islands.”
“This is not the only crime that is transnational but it is a trend that’s happening in the Pacific.”
“We are working together with other Pacific islands to bring this crime to a halt.”