Smuggled weapons seized
The Ministry of Revenue is serious about protecting Samoa’s borders.
So serious the Ministry’s staff members have been intercepting and confiscating illegal firearms smuggled through various containers and parcels sent to Samoa.
Last week, the Ministry’s outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Pitolau Lusia Sefo-Leau handed the weapons over to the Police Commissioner, Fuiava Egon Keil, to be destroyed.
This was done the day before the end of the Police Firearm Amnesty, in a bid to tackle the availability of illegal and unlicensed guns on the streets.
“We seized weapons that were brought across the border without permits,” said Pitolau. “We also seized the ones that people didn’t declare.”
Pitolau said this is the process that have been going on for years but this is the first time they have made it official, with a media announcement.
She said it’s only appropriate that the guns are handed to the Police so they can decide what to do with it.
“We found a lot of ammunition as well,” she said.
“It is illegal ammunition. We keep it all, document it and we now hand them over to Police.”
The Chief Executive Officer said they have a good partnership with the Ministry of Police and they have been working together over the years to protect Samoa.
Pitolau said whether there is a firearm amnesty or not, they would still hand over weapons they have collected from containers to the Police.
More than 15 guns – some extremely powerful military- type weapons - and more than a hundred rounds of ammunition were handed over to the Police.