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Extradition for businessman Tui Vaai Jnr. ongoing

An extradition application to bring back a businessman who fled the country over two years ago, despite the existence of a departure prohibition order against him travelling, is pending.

Tui Jr. Vaai fled the country in July 2018 pending a sentence where he pleaded guilty to a matter relating to the sale of a land to a woman of Vaitele where he allegedly obtained $10,000.

The Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Chief Executive Officer, Agafili Shem Leo, was asked for progress on the extradition application for Mr. Vaai.

In response, he said the application is pending and is undergoing a thorough process, which includes liaising with New Zealand Immigration.

Agafili emphasised that it is important that justice takes its course to return the defendant to answer to the charges against him.

“There is a process and we are following that process,” he said.

“The extradition application to New Zealand, they have their own process based on their law and rules. We have helped them in extradition of New Zealand citizens and dual citizens to face their Courts. 

“I believe that is also the view of New Zealand to assist us to uphold the rule of law and allow justice to take its course, especially with big cases.”

According to Agafili, the process is lengthy and this is to ensure that the laws of that country are complied with, just like Samoa.

Mr. Vaai had pleaded guilty to charges of fraud.

In a previous statement from the Ministry, the C.E.O. confirmed that Mr. Vaai managed to leave the country under false pretence, despite having his travel documents surrendered. 

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