Top cop issues warning

Police Commissioner, Fuivailiili Egon Keil, has issued a public warning that harbouring a criminal, let alone Samoa's most dangerous and wanted man, is a crime.

The warning was issued after Police were tipped off that certain individuals are intentionally sheltering Samoa's most wanted man, Pati Chong Nee.

The convict has been on the run for more than a year after he escaped from Tafaigata Prison last year. He is considered dangerous.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer on Thursday, Police Commissioner Fuiavailiili said the Police received information regarding the whereabouts of Chong Nee which was followed with a raid.

They were told he was hiding out at Tanumapua.

"But unfortunately we don't have him and we're going to keep on looking," he said.

"And whoever is harbouring this guy will be charged for harbouring him so we'll keep on searching until we find him. So anybody with any information that can help us, give us a call and let us know so we can do our job."

On Tuesday, about 40 Police Officers were dispatched on a raid targeting Chong Nee and another man accused for firing a gun at Police.

As a result, Police confiscated five guns and arrested a man, Siueva Sai Lupe, of Tapatapao, who alleged had been harbouring Chong Nee. 

Fuiavailiili said information received by Police shows that Chong Nee was still in the vicinity and continued to be harboured by individuals.

Those who are caught harbouring a prisoner escapee is liable to imprisonment, according to the Crimes Act 2013, section 144.

"A person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2) years who rescues any person from lawful custody, whether in a prison or another place, or who assists any person to escape from such custody, or who aids, harbours, conceals, or shelters any person who has escaped from such custody, knowing that person to have so escaped."

Pati Chong Nee escaped from Tafaigata prison on the 19th January, 2019.

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