Faleatiu sets up drug road block
The village of Faleatiu has stepped up measures to intercept the flow of drugs in their village by chaining off areas where narcotics trafficking is believed to occur.
These efforts led to the Police intercepting drugs including marijuana and methamphetamine early on Tuesday morning.
“These are efforts to stop the flow of [drugs and improve the] safety of our villagers and to protect the image of the village that has been tarnished as a result of the numerous drugs raids conducted in the village,” said village mayor of Faleatiu, Letoaoa'ana Sua Talimatasi.
He also confirmed that a man and woman from Faleatiu were flagged by the police after they suspected that drugs were being transported in two rental cars.
The Police were tipped off and they caught up with the rental cars in Faleolo, where a search uncovered marijuana and methamphetamine.
It’s unclear whether criminal charges have been laid against the man and woman in the cars.
The Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, has not responded to calls for comment.
The village mayor told the Samoa Observer that a number of incidents have occurred within the village’s boundaries, including a massive drug bust last November and a more recent incident in which guns, cocaine and Iraqi currency were seized.
Another earlier episode allegedly involved firearms being discharged at officers.
Last year the Police conducted the biggest raid in the history of the police with about 10,000 marijuana plants, firearms, methamphetamine, ammunition and cash.
“Our village council met on several occasions to find a solution to this ongoing problem and last week we opted to close off this specific area of the road,” said Letoaoa'ana.
“Now we are checking each and every car that is trying to get through this area, and so far we have had to turn away many cars.
“If you are not from Faleatiu, or you don’t have a tie to any family in this area, we will not allow you to enter.
“We are not taking any chances, and even public transportation like taxis we have turned away many taxis because they have no purpose in our village.
“No one can fix this problem, just us,” said.
He added that the Ministry of Police has supported the move.