Police Officer charged over unlicensed gun, colleague suspended
Two Police Officers from the Transnational Crimes Unit have been suspended for misconduct, one of whom is also facing criminal charges over the alleged possession of an unlicensed pistol.
The Officers' suspension was confirmed by the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
“Two officers have been suspended over [allegations of] misconduct and one has been criminally charged,” he said.
The suspensions of Inspector Ituau Ale and Sergeant Shrikrishna Schwenke became effective on Friday.
The Commissioner did not identify which Officer was facing criminal charges.
But the Samoa Observer has independently confirmed that Sergeant Schwenke is the one facing criminal charge of unlawful possession of an unlicensed pistol.
“I will not go into details given the matter is being investigated by the Ministry of Police," the Commissioner said when asked to elaborate on the alleged misconduct.
“In fact one has been charged criminally for an offence and that is all I can say at the moment.”
Fuiavaili’ili noted that “issues of [police] misconduct” happen frequently, not only in Samoa but in other Police departments world over.
The Commissioner also took the opportunity to issue a stern warning to his Officers.
“If you commit police misconduct, I will deal with it swiftly and the course of action is suspension pending an investigation and the outcome of the inquiry,” he told the Samoa Observer.
Efforts to seek comments from the suspended Police Officers were unsuccessful as of press time.