Cop charged over drug bust bribe
A policeman has been charged with taking a bribe and another suspended, as a new twist emerges in the case of a Vietnamese national, who has been charged for smuggling $400,000 tala worth of drugs into Samoa.
The police officer was charged over the weekend and is alleged to have to accepted a bribe from the husband of a 24-year-old Vietnamese national, who allegedly attempted to smuggle heroin and cocaine into Samoa and was caught at the Faleolo International Airport.
Another police officer has been suspended from duty over an incident relating to the same case.
“I can confirm that we have arrested and charged one of our own for [allegedly] accepting bribery,” said Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
According to the Commissioner, the police officer allegedly took a bribe from the husband of the Vietnamese woman, An Tran Thi, following the drug bust at the airport on July 21 after flying to Samoa from Singapore via Fiji.
“We have charged him [the husband] too for [allegedly] bribing an officer,” said Fuaivaili’ili.
The Vietnamese woman is also facing charges of bribery, however, the Commissioner said those charges related to a separate incident.
Fuaivaili’ili said the incident has put the Police at odds with their own principles and what law enforcement stands for.
“It goes against everything that we teach," he said.
"The action of this officer betrays the trust of the community and I have zero toleration for people like this.
“We have been working tirelessly to lift the standard and professionalism of the Police, yet we have these individuals who neglect the oath they took when swearing in as a police Officer; it ruins the image of the Ministry.
“I have intelligent police officers who wear the badge with pride and love the work we do. I am proud of my officers who honour their oath and continue to serve and protect the public."
The Commissioner further added that aside from the officer who has been charged, another police officer has been suspended as a result of this incident.
Fuiavaili’ili said the incident serves as a reminder that no one is above the law, and that members of the public should note that this behaviour in the Police would not be tolerated.
“This officer [allegedly] broke the law and he will be dealt with internally and he will answer for it in Court," he said.
“This type of behaviour has no place in the law enforcement."