The Police is to launch an investigation into a rumour about the existence of an alleged prostitution operation at Falelauniu.
Told about concerns from members of the public who contacted the Samoa Observer with suspicions about the issue, Police Spokesperson, Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu, said he was not aware of it.
However, he assured that the Police would investigate to find out if there is any truth to such a rumour. He asked the Samoa Observer to give them some time to allow them to investigate. This was last week.
According to a member of the public who spoke to the Samoa Observer on the condition of anonymity, there are concerns about local women being used by a foreign-owned business operating in the area.
When the Samoa Observer visited the business in question, the owner vehemently denied the allegation.
“No such thing,” he said. “That is not good news for us.”
The businessman went on to say this is not the first time his company has been made the subject of such malicious rumours.
“This is a bad image for me especially my company,” he said.
According to the businessman, his business comprises of only three employees and and they are males. Then there is his wife.
“People can talk nonsense to others at any time. But this could put an end to my business and I’ll also end up in jail if people continue bad mouthing my company. This is really sad.”
Residents in the area confirmed hearing the rumour but they say they have not seen anything suspicious.
“I have lived here in this area for many years,” said a man who identified himself as Leota. “I hardly see anyone walk in and out of that company during the day or at night time.”
He said he only sees cars go in to collect their orders as per their business.
“If there are claims of something happening there, I haven’t seen it.”
Sina Tu’ua another resident confirmed that a security guard is always on watch at the premise’s gates.
“We’re living in Samoa,” she said. “It’s a very small country and we could easily smell anything that isn’t right.
“I stay home every day to look after my young grandson and stay late at night as well, still I haven’t seen anything.”
The business’s gate closes at 5pm right up until morning.
“So I don’t know about the other hours of the night, yes everything is still peaceful in this side of the country.”
But she believes the matter should still be investigated.
“I think the police should look into this. Personally, if this is true, these are all signs of poverty in the country.”
Prostitution operations are not new to Samoa.
Sometime in 2012, Metala James, of Malololelei and her partner Sanele Sanele, of Papaloloa were found guilty of four counts of knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution.
Metala was also found guilty of three counts of procuring sexual intercourse which involved using two local girls whose names were suppressed by the Court.
The Court found that the accused lived on the earnings of prostitution and knew what they were doing but yet they continued to use the girls to live off their earnings.
Throughout the hearing the court heard that the couple had operated a prostitution ring from their home at Malololelei.
They used five young girls, and arranged for them to have sex with Chinese men at the area opposite Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and other times, foreigners who stayed at tourist accommodations.
The girls gave evidence that money between $20-$50 tala a session was payment given by the clients to Metala.