Authorities quiet on wanted man who skipped country

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 28 September 2018, 12:00AM

The relevant authorities have gone quiet on an attempt to extradite a businessman, Tui Vaai Jr., to face charges in Samoa.

Repeated attempts by the Weekend Observer to get an update about where they are at in terms of the investigation have been unsuccessful. 

The Weekend Observer understand that the Office of the Attorney General and the Police have been trying to bring Mr. Vaai back to appear in Court.

Mr. Vaai was schedule to be sentenced in the District Court two months ago.

However, he failed to appear which led to the issuance of an arrest warrant. 

The warrant of arrest states the accused sold Lot 35 in Plan 11388 to Laufau Saleimoa Amosa, which was already sold to a Victori Lui, thereby obtained $10,000 and causing losses to Saleimoa, a female of Vaitele and Auala Savaii. 

The warrant goes on to say that upon his arrest, he will be kept in custody until his Court appearance.

But that appears a long way away.

Follow up emails from the Weekend Observer to the Attorney General and the Chief Immigration Officer about the matter have not been responded to.

Last month, the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said they were investigating how Mr. Vaai Jr was issued a new passport to leave the country despite a Court order banning him from travel.

This was confirmed in a statement issued to the media by Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet C.E.O., Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo, who is also the Chief of Immigration. 

“Both a police criminal investigation and an internal ministry investigation have commenced into the case of Mr. Tui Vaai Junior on how he left the country whilst previously on D.P.O. and his known valid passports were confiscated by the court. 

“Initial inquiries confirmed that a new passport was issued and the same was used by Tui Vaai Junior to leave the country.”

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 28 September 2018, 12:00AM

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