The Spokesperson for the Police, Su’a LeMamea Tiumalu, has unreservedly apologised to the ANZ Bank.
The apology follows media coverage of a press conference last Friday where he told the media the Police are investigating “$150,000” missing from the ANZ Bank at Salelologa, Savai’i.
The information was the subject of a story titled “Police probe bank’s missing funds” published on the front page of the Samoa Observer yesterday.
The story was refuted by the ANZ Bank, in a letter from their lawyer, Matafeo George Latu.
“We write to raise the following matter with you, namely the accuracy of the facts behind this morning’s front page article,” he wrote.
“Our clients checked (after receiving reports) about missing funds of $150,000 and advise that there has been no such loss or defalcation for that amount at the Bank’s Salelologa branch or any other ANZ Bank branch in Samoa.”
“This afternoon we contacted the Police spokesman and he has confirmed (after rechecking their files) that there is no loss of $150,000 which has been reported to the Police from the Salelologa branch or any other branch of the ANZ Bank Samoa Limited.”
When Su’a was contacted for a comment, he quickly apologised to the Bank and the public for the dissemination of wrong information.
Asked how this came about, he blamed a “typo” on the information sheet he used during the press conference.
“There was a typo which indicated the amount was $150,000 WST when the actual money missing from the bank is $1,500WST,” he said.
“We sincerely apologise to the bank for the unintentional error. We also apologize to the public for giving out the wrong information.”
Su’a said he can confirm the Police are investigating a theft case for $1500 at the bank.
He added that he intends to make another public apology during the weekly media conference on Thursday.
On the front page of the Samoa Observer of Tuesday 23 May 2017, a story titled “Police probe Bank’s missing funds” was published. The story was about a Police probe into the loss of “$150,000” from the Bank’s Salelologa branch. We are able to, and have confirmed with the Police, that that report was based on erroneous information and in fact no funds of $150,000 are missing or unaccounted for from the Salelologa branch or any other ANZ Bank Samoa branch. We hereby respectfully retract the story in question.