Shop warned by Police over alcohol sales to minors

A supermarket located next to a college has been warned by the Ministry of Police after students were caught purchasing alcohol from the retail outlet.

The business P.S Mini Mart, which is located opposite the Maluafou College, has come under scrutiny from authorities after students were caught allegedly buying alcohol from the shop.

The P.S Mini Mart owner, who did not want to be identified, admitted during an interview with the Samoa Observer that he has been warned by the Police.

He said a new staff member, who works as a cashier, was not able to identify the students who did not wear their uniforms when they made the purchase. 

"My staff did not know that they were students because they were in mufti and not in uniforms. I have also asked my staff members not to sell alcohol to teenagers, but she said that they looked like they are over 21 years old," he said. "We are making sure that it doesn't happen again, yes, I know about the regulations for the purchasing of alcohol. And we are no longer accepting any teens from buying any more alcohol.”

The shop owner reiterated that he is aware of the regulations prohibiting children from buying alcohol and his shop had been enforcing the law, until his new staff member joined the company.

A member of the public, who initially tipped off the Police on the alcohol-buying students, told the Samoa Observer that the students looked like they were over 21 years old.

"I actually couldn't tell whether they were under age because their body size does not say it as well. It is sad to see our young ones buying alcohol instead of educational materials. The parents should look into these matters and try to communicate with their children as much as they can," he added.

Attempts by the Samoa Observer to get comments from the Ministry of Police were unsuccessful.

Under the Liquor Act of Samoa there is a prohibition in the selling or supplying of any liquor to a person under the age of 21, and any person that sells or supplies any liquor to a person under the age of 21 years commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding $500 tala or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.

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