Official investigated over alleged $100,000 misuse

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By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, 17 November 2018

A senior official in the Ministry of Justice Courts and Administration is being investigated over the alleged misappropriation of $100,000.

The investigation was confirmed by the Ministry’s Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Ve’atauia Fa’atasi Puleiata. 

“I know there is an investigation underway by the Police and that is all I can say.”

When asked about the official, Ve’atauia said: “She’s supposed to be working but hasn’t come into the office.” 

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The official being investigated was transferred to a different division when the investigation began.   

The preliminary investigation—which was initiated by the Ministry of Finance—began in September this year. 

Police confirmed that they began their investigations after they were alerted by the Ministry of Finance, due to the large amounts of public funding involved. 

“It’s still ongoing but so far funds misappropriated amounts to more than $100,000 (though, it may be more),” said the police officer. 

Attempts to get comments from the Chief Executive Officer, Papali’i John Taimalelagi and Minister Fa’aolesa Katopau Ainu’u were unsuccessful.  

The Samoa Observer also emailed the Ministry of Finance Chief Executive Officer, Lavea Tupa'imatuna Lavea for comments due to the significance amount. But to date the email has not had a response.

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By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu, 17 November 2018

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