Alcohol-fuelled murder demands Liquor Board response

The Police Commissioner, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, has called for the Liquor Board to take action following a spate of recent alcohol-fuelled murders. 

“It is becoming prevalent these murder cases and alcohol is at the centre," said the Commissioner.

"And the liquor board have to address issues that occurs as a result of alcohol".

He told the Samoa Observer that he’ll consult with the Liquor Board on how to best address the increase in murder cases in which alcohol is a contributing factor. 

The Commissioner’s comments comes after confirming that four men have been charged with murder for beating a man to death in Samalaeulu, Savaii over the weekend. 

The Chairman of the Liquor Board and Minister for Customs and Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, said: “The fact is that we cannot control the alcohol consumption of members of the public; all we can do is appeal the public should consume responsibly.” 

He said in the past the board addressed the issues by increasing the tax on liquor and beer. 

“Well that did not help at all; the crimes rate continued to increase and the only people that suffered were the local liquor businesses. It comes down to the mindset of our people and controlling the consumption of alcohol,” he said.  

"The Liquor Board we can only do so much".

The last murder case where alcohol was involved occurred on Father's Day which led to the death of Mefiposeta Laufale, 34, from Matautu-uta who died after being hit in the back of the head with a rock in the early hours of Sunday morning. He had intervened in a village dispute. 

He later died about 5pm from internal bleeding and brain damage at Motootua Hospital. 

An 18-year-old man had been charged with murder in connection to Mr. Laufale's death. 

"Preliminary investigation indicates that alcohol was a factor in the fight on Saturday," the Police said in a statement. 

Two months ago, Police arrested three men connection to two separate deaths where both men were found on the side of the road during the Mother’s day weekend. Alcohol was a contributing factor. 

At the time the Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo, told the Samoa Observer that alcohol was a factor and they can only appeal to members of the public to consume alcohol responsibly.

“I am speaking in general when I say that alcohol is a major factor in the increasing crime rate in Samoa, but the police cannot do anything about it, other than remind the public to consume with some responsibility,” said Auapa’au. 

A man found guilty of stabbing another to death on New Year's Day this year was said to have been involved in a drinking session that led to a violent dispute. 

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