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Expert questions Police estimate of drugs' street value

A drug expert employed by the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration has questioned the $400,000 price tag that the Police have placed on cocaine and heroine caplets that were confiscated from a Vietnamese national. 

Moana Solomona, who is an alcohol and drug clinician with the Ministry, told the Samoa Observer that the amount that the Police quoted in their statement last week released on social media is "misleading" 

The Police statement was released in connection to the cocaine and heroine that they confiscated from the Vietnamese national at the Faleolo International Airport. The Police said the drugs had a street value of $400,000 tala.

But Ms Solomona said her criticism of the street value has nothing to do with the case currently before the Court, but rather the street value that the Police quoted in their statement.

“I am not knocking on the Police report but as an addictions professional who has worked in the field for more than 10 years I found the information misleading," she said. 

“Heroin and Cocaine are generally found in powder form and for tablet form is highly unlikely."

When this newspaper contacted the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’’ili Egon Keil, he declined to comment except to say that the confiscated drugs are in the “testing phase and going through the process and given the matter is before Court, I cannot comment.” 

Ms Solomona said there are not enough pills in both pictures that were distributed by the Police to arrive with a street value of $400,000 tala.

“If they are going to put these type of stories in the paper, concrete evidence or more information should be provided," she added.

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