Men accused over ice package in Court

The two men accused over a package intercepted by Customs Officers at the Fagali’i Airport, which contained ice, made their initial appearance in the Supreme Court yesterday. 

Scott Robert Barlow, of Samoa, and Fatu Vagana, of American Samoa, are facing drug charges. They appeared before the Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu yesterday.

Prosecuting the case was Lucy Maria Sio of the Attorney General’s office. 

Vagana was represented by Lei’ataua Jerry Brunt while Arthur Lesa represented Barlow. 

The men have been in police custody since last month.

Vagana was released on bail yesterday. 

In Court, Lei’ataua informed the Court that his client upon bail release will be living with his family in Vaitele and the prosecution have been informed and have not objected to the bail release. 

The prosecutor pointed out she does not oppose to bail release, however Vagana who is from American Samoa needs to surrender his travel documents.

But Ms. Sio opposed bail for Barlow. 

Mr. Lesa told the Court he had just been served a motion opposing to the bail in the morning. He asked for an expedited hearing on the motion against his client.

The hearing is set for tomorrow.

 “In respect of the accused Fatu Vagana, because there is no opposition to bail from the prosecution, this accused is granted bail on these conditions. 

“If you have a passport, you must surrender it to the registrar office, secondly stay permanently at your family residence in Vaitele Fou, unless the court tells you otherwise; thirdly sign with the Police Post at Tuanaimato on Tuesdays and Fridays before noon.” 

The Chief Justice rescheduled the matter for next Monday for mention and status on the pleas of the defendants. 

Last month Acting Assistant Police Commissioner, Sala’a Moananu told the Samoa Observer the Police were alerted by the staff at Fagali’i Airport. 

“They (the drugs) were in a package from American Samoa and the staff at Fagali’i Airport found this out when the package went through the scanning machine.” 

Sala’a said the Police were contacted straight away and they quickly responded and confirmed that it was indeed meth, weighing 5.9grams. 

The two men were arrested when they turned up to collect the package.  Sala’a further stated they are still investigating how the package got through Customs in American Samoa. 

“Something is not right with this picture and there are many questions at the moment.”

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