Minister dismisses claims Authority looking to cease selling Tattslotto products

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, has dismissed suggestions that the Government is looking to cease the sale of overseas lottery products after eleven employees were charged for theft as a servant.

A fortnight ago, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi said the Government was considering the option of banning the Australian lottery and focus on the local game. 

But in response to queries from the Samoa Observer, Lautafi, who is responsible for the Gambling Control Authority, said the Authority has taken remedial actions to ensure such incidents will not happen again.

“As such, we are confident G.C.A. can continue with selling Tattslotto tickets,” he added. 

On Monday this week, eleven employees including former staff of the Sportslotto appeared in Court for charges of theft as a servant. 

Eleven former Sportslotto employees are facing a joint charge of theft as a servant. Nine of the defendants appeared before the Chief Justice, His Honour Satiu Simativa Perese on Monday.

The accused are Silika Hala, Telesia Lina Bourne, Ulalia Salufau, Lui Feseetai, Leilua Tonuu, Pio Paepae, Masela Moananu Masoe, Talosaga Wales Amosa and Tamara Asofolau Brown.

Two of the nine’s co-defendants, Lilian Faasoo and Tavale Touli, did not appear when called for the matter. 

A recently statement from the G.C.A. says as a result of its internal investigations, Samoa Sportslotto had lodged criminal complaints against a number of staff employed as teller or sales operators. 

It alleged that the employees have been implicated for defrauding and stealing from Samoa Sportslotto and its TMS games customers. 

“Those identified and referred to Police for their further investigation and subsequent action have now been formally charged by police with theft and other unlawful acts,” says the authority. 

“Those charged with theft will include the former employee responsible for the social media posts attacking Samoa Sports Lotto. 

“We have also filed additional criminal complaints against this same person and members of her family for defamation, harassment and intimidation as well as threats made against the staff and property of Samoa Sportslotto.” 

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