Drugs found in American woman's luggage

A 49-year-old American woman allegedly had marijuana in her luggage and will be charged under Samoa's customs laws.

This was confirmed in a statement issued by the Customs Commissioner, Matafeo Avalisa Viali-Fautu in response to questions from the Samoa Observer. 

“An American woman of 49 years will be facing charges on prohibited importation under the Customs Act 2014.  

"And after a collaborative operation – between Samoa Customs and the Joint K9 Unit of the Ministry for Revenue and the Ministry of Police – which resulted in the detection of illicit narcotics namely cannabis, that was found in her baggage upon arrival at the Faleolo International Airport on Thursday 11 April 2019.

"After Customs completed its chain of custody requirements under the Customs Act 2014, the woman and the illicit good was then referred to Samoa Police for further investigation under their legislation,” says the statement. 

The woman was a passenger on an Air Zealand flight that flew to Samoa. 

Attempts by this newspaper to get comments from the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, were not successful. 

However, the statement issued by Samoa's Customs Service said the collaboration between Ministry for Revenue, Customs Services and the Ministry of Police – to effectively deter illicit activities at the international borders – is a priority and the discovery and charging of the woman confirms the cooperation and collaboration between the Government Ministries. 

“The Joint K9 Unit is equally been effectively implemented with increased hits at our borders.   As the matter is under active investigation, no further details can be released at this stage.” 

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