Faleatiu moves to evict family
The Village Council of Faleatiu has united to remove (Ati male Lau) the family of Tagaloasa Filipaina from the village in the wake of scandals involving criminal incidents in the village.
“The village is fed up with all of the trouble these people have caused in our village,” said Village Mayor of Faleatiu, Letoaoa'ana Sua Talimatasi.
“And it is not just the village council, but the church ministers and residents of the village that are affected.
“The trouble they cause in the village has been going on for far too long and we have had enough.”
In an interview with Letoaoa'ana at his residence on Friday, he confirmed that the Village Council concluded to oust the family after numerous meetings.
The decision follows a number of incidents within the village boundaries, including a massive drug bust last November and a more recent incident in which guns, cocaine and Iraqi currency were seized.
Another earlier episode allegedly involved firearms being discharged at officers.
“Since the [shooting] incident the village has met three times a week to come up with an amicable solution; most of this family have been penalised; but removing them from the village is the last option,” he said,
“We sought the assistance of the Prime Minister on Thursday and after our meeting, we will take this to the next level.
“We are taking a legal stand on this and we the village will meet again on Monday to discuss our next move. The Council will visit the Police station on Tuesday and seek their assistance.”
The Prime Minister had earlier put the notorious family of one of Samoa’s most notorious criminals on notice in April address: “Even [Notorious criminal Tagaloasa Filipaina Faisauvale who is] inside jail; it can be easily [alleged] that Filipaina is giving orders to his family to continue the crime spree; and my advice to his brothers and sisters: when you visit Filipaina advise him to repent”.
According to the village mayor, under the law the High Chief of each family holds the supreme authority as to who resides on their family land.
“The family Sa’o (High Chief) has that authority to remove families and that is that route that we are looking at,” said Letoaoa'ana.
The Police raided the said family’s compound many times. Last year the police conducted the biggest raid in the history of the police with about 10,000 marijuana plants, firearms, methamphetamine, ammunition and cash.
The recent raid, police confiscated weapons, close to $50,000 in currency from the Middle East and what appeared to be cocaine. Also the police apprehended two of Samoa's fugitives including Iolamo Sanele Moa and his cousin, Fotu Sanele Moa.
Letoaoa'ana said this family will have to move to another village.
“We have considered that other villages will not take lightly members of this family moving into their village but; I highly doubt that they follow the same path once they are ousted from here,” he said.
The Village Mayor said they want to see through this process as peacefully as they can”
“Also we want to reassure the residents of our village: do not live in fear of Faleatiu.”
He reiterated how this family has been a nuisance for many years.
“We have seen this issue through many church ministers who have passed on; but the problem remains over the years,” he said.
“And it is time for the village council to act and not deviate from doing what is best not only for the people of Faleatiu, but the country as a whole.”
He said the issue at hand starts from the proper raising of children.
Asked as to how they will carry out the removal of this family, Letoaoa'ana said they have God on their side:
“You have seen the weapons that have been seized from that family’s compound; they're illegal in the country as noted by the Commissioner. But we have God on our side, they have weapons, but our goal is to keep the peace.”
According to Letoaoa'ana, there are close to 30 members of this family that will be affected by the call of the Village Council.
Letoaoa'ana also condemned the labeling of this specific family as the “mafia family in Samoa” by overseas media.
“They only encourage them by giving such labels. There is no mafia in Faleatiu, let alone in this Country,” he said.
“This family has brought so much shame into our village and we will do what should have been done a long time ago.”
He reiterated the principle of life that parents should teach their children to walk in the right path of life.
“As they say, children of men are fed with words of wisdom, while broods of the birds are fed of fruits on the trees,” said Letoaoa'ana.
“I speak this way because the village is hurting from the many bad things this family has done in the village. I am out of words to express how bad-mannered and unbecoming these people are; but we continue to pray for them that in due time they will change for the better”.
Attempts to make contact with the affected families was not possible as of press time.