Drug smuggling accused released on bail

Supreme Court Justice Leiataualesa Darryl Clarke has granted bail to the Vietnamese national charged with possessing narcotics worth $400,000 after a bust at the Faleolo International Airport last month. 

Twenty-four-year-old woman An Tran Thi appeared in Court on Friday when she was granted bail. 

Thi was travelling from Singapore to American Samoa via Fiji and Samoa when she was detained and charged for having suspected heroin and cocaine in her possession.

The Prosecution did not object to the granting of bail but requested that the accused woman adhere to strict conditions: signing in with the Criminal Investigation Divison and remaining at a Matautu Tai address. 

The Defense Counsel had a request for his client's belongings to be returned denied.

"That may be needed by the Police in terms of their investigation,” said Justice Leiataualesa. 

“An application on behalf of you (defendant) and on the request of your lawyer and by consent of the prosecution lawyer, you will be granted bail and to reappear in court on 19 August, 2019 at 10 am on the following conditions. 

“You must surrender all your travel documents to the registrar of the court, sign twice a week at the Apia police station every Tuesday and Friday before 12pm. 

“You are to reside and stay at Matautu Tai [...and] you are not to offend while on bail and you must comply with these conditions.

"If you do not comply you will be remanded back into custody and taken back to prison."

The defendant's facility in the English language arose during an earlier hearing and the Judge reminded the court that trial documents must be translated into a language the accused understands. 

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?