Top cop stands by decision

The Police Commissioner, Fuiavailili Egon Keil, has defended their decision not to inform village mayors ahead of drug raids.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, he said releasing information on Police raids can be risky for Police officers and could even jeopardize operations post-raid. He explained that Police only discloses information to those who have the right to know and need to know.

He said they will putting at risk their operations and the safety of the Police officers if they release information to anyone. 

"You see with Police work we can’t really disclose some of the things we do, we cannot talk about because it’s very dangerous on the officers," he said.

"And the risk that this information will go out and then the police can be ambushed or jeopardized and compromises our investigation.

"We also have to think, it’s after the post-raid because now we have to go to Court, we have to lock somebody up so when we charge," he said.

Fuiavailili said cases that the Police investigate also ends up in Court and releasing information also jeopardises the work of the prosecution. 

The rest of the information left undisclosed are sensitive information that only the Court should hear to determine innocence of those charged, he said.

The Police Commissioner said this in response to concerns by Faleula village mayor, Fetaia'i Va'auli who recently said the Police did not give him the heads up before they raided a property in the village. 

Last week the Police executed a search warrant and raided properties in Faleula and Leauva'a, where they were able to seize seven guns and one pistol together with utensils, which Fuiavailili said are consistent with those used for methamphetamine.

The Police have charged three people following the confiscation of illegal firearms and ammunition at Faleula and Leauva'a. 

But Fetaia'i said the village should have been informed so that they are aware of what is going on, considering it is a big village.

"They should say who exactly it was and who was there because you are mentioning that its from someone from here but I’m unsure on whose house it is. 

"But even the Police should have come here and informed me as this is how these things should be done, but right now I am not sure," he added.

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