Police officers suspended over alleged affairs

Six Police officers have been suspended amidst an investigation into alleged adultery and inter-agency relationships at the Ministry of Police. This was confirmed by the Police Commissioner, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil.

In Savai'i alone, there were two senior officers and two juniors. 

Among them, one voluntarily resigned and another has been charged with a crime.

“I can confirm that two senior sworn members and two junior sworn members of the Samoa Police Service currently assigned to Savaii Operations have been either suspended, demoted, and/or reassigned as a result of Professional Standards Unit investigations,” Fuiavaili’ili said in an email.

“One member was charged criminally from one of the incidents and the other voluntarily resigned from the Service in lieu of disciplinary action.”

As well as the four police officers in Savaii, a “senior member” of the Traffic Enforcement Division based in Fagalii and a subordinate officer were also investigated, and both have faced disciplinary action.

The Samoa Observer understands one has been re-assigned to a new division. 

“For policy and personal rights reasons, I cannot [divulge] particulars on an investigation,” Fuiavaili’ili said.

“However, misconduct of any kind will not be tolerated and each case will be adjudicated on merit and facts; and as such, punishment will be meted accordingly.”

“This we believe was accomplished in the aforementioned cases. [Police] Officers are there to protect and serve the public, not to engage in misconduct or breach the law.”

Fuiavailiili would not comment specifically on how long the suspensions are and what other specific disciplinary actions were taken, but the Samoa Observer understands most of the suspensions have been for a two week period.

Adultery is illegal in Samoa under the Crimes Act. Adultery by a married person and an unmarried person who commits adultery with someone they know to be married is punishable by a fine not exceeding $100 (one penalty unit). 

The full statement from the Police Commissioner is printed verbatim below:

“I can confirm that two senior sworn members and two junior sworn members of the samoa Police Service currently assigned to Savaii Operations have been either suspended, demoted, and/or reassigned as a result of Professional Standards Unit investigations. One member was charged criminally from one of the incidents and the other voluntarily resigned from the Service in lieu of disciplinary action.

Professional Standards Unit also investigated a misconduct allegation involving a senior member of Traffic Enforcement Division and a subordinate officer, resulting in disciplinary action on both.

“For policy and personal rights reasons, I cannot diverge particulars on an investigation. However, misconduct of any kind will not be tolerated and each case will be adjudicated on merit and facts; and as such, punishment will be meted accordingly.

“This we believe was accomplished in the aforementioned cases. Peace Officers are there to protect and serve the public--not to engage in misconduct or breach the law.”      

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