Am. Samoa legislator acknowledges local drug problems

A member of the American Samoa House of Representative, Manumaua Wayne Wilson, believes that methamphetamine or ‘meth’ is locally produced in Tutuila. 

“The alarming increase in drug cases before the courts indicates how bad the drug situation is in the territory, “ he said.

“Not a day goes by without the newspaper reporting a drug case.

Local media Talanei reported there haven’t been any flights from Hawaii for more than a month but there are still reported new drug cases being brought before the Court, specifically ice.

Manumaua, who is also the Chairman of the Department of Public Safety Committee, believes these are signs the drug is being manufactured locally.

“My observation is the drug trade is operating in villages without any intervention by village leaders,” he said. 

He said that Samoa News recent articles pointed to  “Le Filifili,” a property on the road going up to Logotala Hill which is chained, hence the name filifili (chain).  It has been mentioned in several court affidavits for drug cases as the place where crystal methamphetamine has been bought.

Rep. Manumaua has scheduled a hearing next Tuesday with the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Governor’s Council on Drugs and an official from the Office of Samoan Affairs.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi claimed that one of the reasons for the shutdown of the Fagalii Airport is its alleged use as a gateway for drugs into Samoa.

He also appealed to the American Samoa Government to keep a close eye on their people, especially users of the drug methamphetamine. 

The Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali'i Niko Lee Hang, echoed the same sentiments prior to the closing of the Fagali'i Airport. 

He claimed it was becoming a gateway for drugs smuggled into the country, with the Customs' sniffer dogs only patrolling occasionally prior to its closure.

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