The Immigration Office has been asked to look into allegations that someone is “selling Samoan passports” online and to as far away places as Africa.
The allegation is contained in an email from one “Joanna Slewion,” which the Samoa Observer has referred to the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as the Ministry responsible for Immigration.
According to the email, the person claims that someone is “selling Samoa passport out to African (sic).”
The email said, “He even fooled me to send my 1000 U.S. dollars to him that he was going to give me the passport to go to Europe.”
The money was sent however there has been no contact from the alleged passport procurer. The email to the Samoa Observer indicates that this has been ongoing.
“He has been processing Samoa Apia passports for others and they have used it to travel to Europe,” the email claims.
The informant said he has reported the matter to the Immigration Office in Samoa.
“I asked him for my money back and he refuses to do so I contacted the Immigration. I got only few reply till now. I have not gotten my money from him.”
Attached in the email to the Samoa Observer are copies of the Samoan passports with photos of people who appear to be foreigners.
When the email arrived last week, the Samoa Observer immediately contacted the Immigration Office and the Office of the Press Secretariat for a comment.
The Head of the Immigration Office is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Shem Leo.
The Samoa Observer was told he was not in the country last week.
But the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet A.C.E.O., Renate Rivers, acknowledged the email and said: “We will need to look in to this claim and ensure we have good information on this matter.
“This won't happen overnight as there are processes we have to go through but I've already advised our Acting C.E.O - Sarona Filemu - that you're wanting to get some comment/interview on the matter so as soon as we can do that, I will let you know.”
This response was sent in last week.