Family of notorious criminal reject eviction

The village of Faleatiu’s move to evict the family of the notorious criminal, Tagaloasa Filipaina Faisauvale, has been strongly opposed by his eldest sister, Muni Satui.

The decision to evict the family was made public in reports in this newspaper this week and confirmed by the village mayor of Faleatiu, Letoaoa'ana Sua Talimatasi.

But up to now an official eviction notice from the village mayor is yet to be received, Mrs. Satui said in an interview in her home at Faleatiu.

“They do not have any business on my lands and properties. If they want to evict us, all they have to do is to remove us from their village affairs, that is it," she said.

"Because we are all very much involved in village affairs. I am here patiently waiting for them. But I do not accept their decision to remove us from here. I pity my brother, he was one of the trailblazers in this village, and now it seems they are mocking us?

“It was my brother that paved the way for this village starting from Falease’ela to Falelatai in the bushes. It was also Tagaloasa and I who fought for these lands especially when the S.T.E.C. came around, that is why they are able to work on their lands happily nowadays.”

The move to evict the family comes after a string of criminal activities within Faleatiu, which led to Police raids and prompted a massive drug bust last November, that led to the discovery of guns, cocaine and Iraqi currency.

Another earlier episode allegedly involved firearms being discharged at officers.

But despite the numerous Police raids into their compound, Mrs. Satui said she doesn't know why the family has been subjected to such treatment. 

She also questioned the village move to make reference to Tagaloasa Filipaina’s name during their eviction decision when her brother is already in jail.

“Our village mayor has publicised the removal of our family from this village, saying Tagaloasa’s name and yet he is not here. This matter is embarrassing.

“They should have told us who is here, and yet they still have not approached me. If not for the village men whom I questioned about the matter and your newspaper, I would not have known.

“My question is, why have they not put their decision into action? We do not know the reason why they made such a decision so I have sent the village men to let the mayor know that I will be here waiting for him.”

Mrs. Satui is the eldest of 18 children, including Tagaloasa Filipaina Faisauvale who all own land and reside in Faleatiu Uta with their children and grandchildren.

The Prime Minister had earlier put the family on notice in an 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”.

But Mrs. Satui, in response to the Prime Minister’s statements, said:

“What does he prefer? Does he prefer that they plant marijuana or would he rather have them kill and steal money, phones, cars and such?”

In an interview with Faleatiu’s Mayor, Letoaoa'ana, he said since the shooting incident occurred within the village boundaries, the council 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.”

Letoaoa'ana said Tagaloasa's family will have to move to another village.

But Mrs. Satui said that is not an option:

“What’s going to happen is if they push through with this, we will have our own village. All of our houses are further inland. We will set up our own village and we will call you guys to come in to see for yourselves."

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