Police take over L.T.A. probe

The Ministry of Police has taken over the investigation involving suspended Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) Assistant C.E.O Anoanoai Pepe Lafai and former A.C.E.O. Mata'afa Sepelini Poufa.

They are alleged to have altered information to allow vehicles belonging to them to be registered.

This was confirmed by Police Superintendent and Media Spokesperson, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo.

“I can confirm the matter has been referred to Police for an investigation,” he said. 

“However due to the sensitivity of this matter, the Police will not provide any further comments until the investigation is completed.”

In April, documents leaked to the Samoa Observer show that the year of manufacture for the vehicles were changed from 2000 to 2005 so they could be registered on the L.T.A’s Road Transport Administration System (R.T.A.S.).  

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One of the vehicles involved, according to documents obtained by the Sunday Samoan, is a Toyota Allion. 

On the P.S.V. vehicle inspection, the car is a 2003 model. But according to the R.T.A.S, it’s been amended to 2006.  Both documents point to the same V.I.N. number.

Last week, the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, confirmed that the A.C.E.O's were asked to resign. 

Since then, Mata’afa Sepelini has tendered his resignation, but not Pepe. 

“And her case had since been left to the discretion of the L.T.A. Board and the Attorney General’s Office,” said Papali’i. 

The Chief Executive Officer of L.T.A., Galumalemana Ta'atialeoitiiti Tutuvanu-Schwalger, declined to comment.

“I am not able to provide any further details at this point in time,” she said. 

“As stated in my email to you about this same matter on the 25th April 2018, I will provide a statement on behalf of the L.T.A. as soon as I am permitted.”

Attempts to get a comment from the officials implicated were unsuccessful.

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