'Facebook gang members' arrested
The Police has issued a warning about a group they have identified as the “Blood Gang” which uses social media, namely Facebook, to lure their victims.
The warning came in a media statement the Police posted on its Facebook page on Monday where it confirmed that two suspects are in Police custody in relation to an assault incident at the Savalalo market last week.
How the group lures their victims, the Police do not say.
But they confirm that a video clip of the incident last week went viral on Facebook where the defendants were caught on camera assaulting a 17-year-old at the Savalalo market.
The video shows three young women throwing punches at another who is sitting down. A male voice is heard encouraging the beating.
“Police preliminary investigations into this matter indicates that a group known on social media as ‘Blood Gang’ comprising of young men and women under 20 years of age are utilising social media (Facebook) as means of luring their victims and then ambushing them,” the Police statement said.
"Two suspects are in police custody until the 09th of September 2019 for mention in court in relation to an assault at Savalalo market a week ago," police said in a statement.
Those suspects - whose ages were not disclosed by police - are alleged to have been members of the "Blood Gang".
Police used the occasion of the young people's arrest to warn the public about improper use of social media.
"Samoa Police Service (‘SPS’) wishes to advi[s]e the public that the use of social media is for good, positive and appropriate practice," the police statement read.
"The use of social media to instigate violence sheds negativity on our Christian community.
"The arrest of these youths should be a deterrent for those who are contemplating to inappropriately use social media to commit crime."
The video had generated a social media storm for the past week, with an outpouring of condemnation from viewers.