The Immigration Office has begun an internal investigation into how a businessman, Tui Vaai Jr, left the country despite a Departure Prohibition Order (D.P.O.) being in place to stop him from travelling.
This was confirmed by the Assistant Chief Immigration Officer, Siaopo Pese, in a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer yesterday.
The Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration Assistant C.E.O., Ve'atauia Fa'atasi Puleiata, also confirmed there is a pending criminal case against Tui Vaai Jr in Court.
The matter was scheduled to be heard at 12:30pm on Friday afternoon.
However, when the Samoa Observer reporter arrived, the matter had already been heard at 12:00 pm.
No information has been forthcoming from the Ministry of Police and the Office of the Attorney General about the matter.
Emails sent to Deputy Police Commissioner Monalisa Keti and Attorney General Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff last week have yet to be responded to.
In the meantime, the Immigration office has started their investigation.
“To date we have assigned a case officer to investigate this matter,” said Siaopo.
“So for D.P.O. that is recorded in the immigration system, the law says that it’s only valid for six months, unless a new D.P.O. is put into the system and so we are trying to determine that but for the time being the matter is being investigated,” he added.
According to Siaopo, the Immigration file for the accused has also been handed over to the Police for their investigation.