Police involved in search for missing evidence
The Police have been asked to step in to track a gun submitted as an exhibit but has gone missing from the Court’s possession.
This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of M.J.C.A, Papali’i John Papali’i, who is extremely concerned about what has happened.
The weapon disappeared last week Thursday.
The Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration immediately launched an internal investigation to find out how the gun disappeared.
“Our investigation was not successful and given this is a crime, removing evidence entrusted to the Court, the police was called in for a criminal investigation,” said Papali’i.
In the meantime, he told the Samoa Observer evidence is now locked away in a safe place with only one key.
“I have that key and it will not leave my sight,” he said. “All the exhibits that come in will be handed over to me for safe keeping to ensure this issue is not repeated.”
Papali’i declined to comment on why the matter was not reported to Police earlier.
“I cannot say anything further that may jeopardize the ongoing investigation and also I cannot confirm or deny if we suspect that employees are involved, because we don’t know,” said Papali’i.
Police Superintendent, Logotino Filipo, the Police Media Spokesperson confirmed the have taken over the case.
“It is confirmed that an investigation has been launched earlier this week. I cannot comment further while the investigation is proceeding,” said Filipo.
As reported earlier, according to one M.J.C.A. official, the weapon went missing last week.
“Since last Thursday an internal investigation has been launched into the matter,” one official said.
“The C.E.O. and the Minster have been informed about this unfortunate situation.”
The official said the weapon, as exhibits and evidence, are usually stored at the A.C.E.O’s office.
“However for some reason this gun was stored in the office storage room and from there it went missing. An investigation has been launched by the C.E.O as this is a serious matter especially within our office.”
A notice has been circulated among the Ministry’s staff members in the bid to locate the gun.
“A notice was given to the employees for information about the missing weapon as there is no one who has access to the storage room but the employees,” the official said.
“However as of today (yesterday) no one has come forward.”
The Official further stated that everyone who had access to the storage room would be interviewed.