Pig head thrower Talelei Pauga charged in Samoa
The arrivals immigration declaration form should be filled up “accurately” when entering Samoa.
So says Agafili Shem Leo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Chief Immigration Officer.
He was responding to questions from the Samoa Observer in relation to the Government’s decision to charge Talalelei Pauga under Samoa’s immigration laws.
Pauga is the man who threw a pig’s head and dog food at the Prime Minister in Brisbane, Australia, last year.
The charge against Pauga was confirmed by Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration’s Assistant C.E.O., Ve’atauia Fa’atasi Puleiata.
He said Pauga is accused of giving false information on his arrival declaration form when he returned to Samoa.
Agafili refused to discuss the details behind the charges.
“We are currently going through the proper procedurals on the matter and so I can’t comment,” he said.
“There will come a time, a proper time and the information will be revealed."
“It is not proper for me to comment at this stage.”
Pressed as to how many other people have been charged under this Act, Agafili said: “I will not answer that as well. The process will take its course and……in fact that is in the law."
“You have to be truthful in the filling of your declaration form."
“Under the immigration laws, similar to any other immigration law in the world, if violated the penalty is quite hefty for those who don’t fill their forms accurately.”
Pauga is scheduled to appear in in the District Court on March 5.
When Ve’atauia was asked when was the last time someone was charged under this law, he said: "I don’t recall, the last time, if ever anyone was charged under this act.”
Pauga, who is based in Australia, has been in Samoa since the beginning of the year.
Asked about the incident during the launch of Samoa Airways Apia-Brisbane flights, he denied it was an attack on the Prime Minister.
He said his protest was strategically planned to let the Prime Minister know that he cannot continue to call Samoans “stinking pigs and dogs.”
Attempts to get a comment from him yesterday were unsuccessful.