Am. Samoa boat owners put on notice by Samoa's Commissioner of Police
Samoa’s Police Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo has issued a stern warning against boats heading to Samoa, they must have customs clearance on hand, prior to entering its borders.
“International law must be upheld regardless and the incident this past weekend is a classic example. Foreigners on Samoan waters must abide by our laws; otherwise, there will be consequences and it does not matter who owns the vessel.”
These are the comments uttered by Auapa’au in an interview with KVZK news, after reports by media in Samoa about a boat from American Samoa that entered Samoa waters without Customs Clearances, which should be submitted to Samoa’s Customs and Revenue at the port.
Auapa’au said the Kite Runner was seized by the Ministry of Police and Prisons in Savaii, at the Salelologa Wharf.
“The boat was then escorted from Savaii to the Matautu Wharf to await the appropriate paperwork, and when we received the clearance that's when the boat was released from the custody of Police.
“The Captain was verbally warned which was documented that next time, Samoa Police will not be so lenient and that as Commissioner will not hesitate to arrest anyone who violates our laws,” said the Police Commissioner.
Adding that protection of Samoa borders is paramount hence laws in place to ensure that any vessel must be cleared by customs prior to docking.
Repeated efforts to get comments from Papalii Laulii Alofa, the owner of Paramount Builders which the Kite Runner is registered, were unsuccessful.
However, Tish Peau, speaking on behalf of Paramount Builders said she submitted the vessel and crew’s paperwork the week prior to Flag Day and received approval a few days after Flag Day, according to Talanei reports.
Commissioner Auapa’au also noted that there are several boats from American Samoa participating in the Samoa International Game Fishing tournament underway and they provided all the necessary clearances and everyone should follow the same process.