Missing $50,000 investigation continues, workers suspended

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Acting Assistant Police Commissioner, Sala’a Moananu Sala’a.

Acting Assistant Police Commissioner, Sala’a Moananu Sala’a. (Photo: File)

The Police investigation into the theft of $50,000 from the Samoa Land Corporation’s (S.L.C.) money safe is continuing.

This was confirmed by the Acting Police Assistant Commissioner, Sala’a Moananu, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.

“Police are still continuing with the investigation,” he said. 

“No one has been charged.” 

Sala’a told the Samoa Observer they don’t have any concrete evidence to proceed with a prosecution. 

“But that does not mean the Police have stopped the investigation. 

“Also we are still waiting for the audit report that was part of the investigation and to date we have yet to receive a report. 

“For sure, assistance will be coming from that audit report.”

As reported earlier, the missing amount includes cheques.

The matter was initially reported to the Faleata Police post. The C.I.D. was contacted to take over the investigation. 

Sala’a said the police have ruled out the possibility that it was a burglary incident. 

“Police officers have taken photos and have been to every door and window. 

“It is evident there is no sign of forced entry into the building to indicate that this was burglary.” 

According to Sala’a three employees of S.L.C have been questioned by the Police, and were released. 

The same three employees have been suspended without pay.  

A spouse of one of the suspended employees told the Samoa Observer the suspension without pay has had a huge impact on their family. 

“I am forking up the money to pay our bills because my other half is not getting paid,” she said. 

“The weird thing is that my other half has been a suspect and was interviewed by the Police, for many hours. 

“Our home was raided in an effort to look for this money. I welcomed the investigation into our home with open arms. We have nothing to hide,” said the spouse. 

“My other half should still be working, and assigned to another division until such a time when the police concludes the evidence and file the appropriate charges.” 

Sala’a told the Samoa Observer yesterday on the phone that the suspension of the S.L.C. employees is not within his jurisdiction.

The Samoa Observer contacted the S.L.C. Chief Executive Officer, Ulugia Petelo for a comment.

An official said he was not at work as he was sick.

The Corporate Manager declined to comment referring the queries to the Police. 

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