Vietnamese woman with illegal drugs detained
Authorities have detained a Vietnamese woman after illegal drugs with a street value of $400,000 tala were found in her possession when she arrived at the Faleolo International Airport on Sunday night.
The woman travelled in from Fiji and was scheduled to depart for American Samoa. But Customs officers were alerted to alleged drugs in her possession, which when confiscated tested positive for heroin and cocaine.
The Samoa Police Service confirmed in a statement on their Facebook page that they have charged a 24-year-old Vietnamese female who flew to Samoa from Singapore via Fiji.
"Customs Officers referred the matter to police upon suspicion that she was in possession of illicit drugs in the form of pills or tablets. An initial drug test was conducted and the results came out positive for Heroin and Cocaine. The K9 detector dog was also used to re-confirm the illicit drugs," the Police statement read.
"The 24 year old was transiting through Samoa for her final destination to American Samoa. The street value of the confiscated drugs is estimated be worth around $400,000 Samoan tala."
The woman is now under Police custody with the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, confirming this in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
He said that the preliminary tests confirm these are hard drugs and it is the first time he has come across heroin in the country.
“We now have an individual from another country allegedly importing and coming on an airplane from Fiji into our country with controlled substance. And now we have recovered what we believe is cocaine and heroin," he said.
“This is the first time I’ve come across heroin in Samoa. It is a narcotic analgesic, a painkiller and it’s a tranquilliser substance and illegal in Samoa. It is highly addictive."
Fuiavaili’ili said heroin is totally different synthetically when compared to cocaine, whereas this drug keeps a person active.
He said heroin is a downer versus cocaine which makes you active for hours and days.
“It is very rare to get cocaine in Samoa, as we deal more with ice, but it’s interesting that we are finding cocaine and heroin at the same time.
“We’re fortunate that Customs did a great job detecting and identifying the substance. They notified the police and we have been working together since last night regarding this matter.
“We have an individual in our custody and we have everything in our possession," he said.
According to the Commissioner, their investigations are continuing into the woman's attempts to smuggle in the illegal substance.
He also issued a stern warning to foreigners entering Samoa, saying: “Let this be a warning to all members of the travelling public, we will not tolerate this."
- This story was updated at 8.00pm local time after the Samoa Police Service posted a statement on their Facebook page.