Weapons seized, raid suspect charged

The Ministry of Police has charged a man after a raid in Faleula in which Police confiscated 15 weapons, including high powered rifles and illegal handguns.

A 44 year-old, Ipuauro Uli Sagote, from Faleula and Lalomalava, was taken into Police custody and is facing counts of unlawful firearms and charges relating to possession of paraphernalia associated with the manufacture and consumption of narcotics.

The Police also impounded the man’s black Ford Ranger in which a fully loaded gun was found, said Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil.

The Commissioner expressed concern about the number of weapons confiscated during the raid. 

The head of the Criminal Investigation Division, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo, and a Police Inspector, Tagaloa Toddy Iosefa, led the raid on Thursday. 

They were accompanied by the Commissioner during a press conference on Friday.

“Police were able to seize from the home of the suspect a number of unlawful weapons and ammunition [including] seven pistols, nine rifles, 22 [pieces of ammunition] and other unlawful [ammunition],” said the Commissioner.

“All handguns are illegal here in Samoa and all the rifles are all unregistered rifles, but very dangerous. They may look old and rusted but these firearms work and they do kill.

|And not only that we found [live] ammunition and glass pipes used to smoke methamphetamine, or could be cocaine, or heroin and marijuana as well.

“Also recovered these are [scales] used to measure the weight of a drug before it is packaged and as you can see there are [empty] baggies and it is consistent with someone that’s selling and putting together hard drugs,” 

The Commissioner said this is not the first time the Police have raided the property:

“And we have arrested the same individual for the third time for a [similar] type of offence.

“This individual comes out again on bail and gets arrested again for a similar type of activity and he goes back in and he’s bailed out again. He comes out and this is what we find.”

He also warned those selling drugs in Samoa that they will inevitably be caught:

“We will continue to clean up what we do not need in Samoa to keep Samoa a little bit safer. We don’t need hard drugs, and these weapons and the handguns can be easily hidden inside vehicles.”

The Commissioner further noted the suspect’s house is located in a residential area and where there are drugs, guns will be present.

“And when those things are mixed, someone will die and we don’t want that,” he said. 

According to the Police Commissioner, the accused has been remanded in the Tanumalala Prison and will appear in court on 28 August this year for his criminal mention.

The Commissioner also commended the men and women for their actions in the raid and their continued service to the people of Samoa.



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