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Samoa continues its investigation into Kite Runner's trip to Apia

American Samoa-registered Kite Runner that entered Samoan territorial waters illegally last month did not provide a certificate of clearance (C.o.C.) after it berthed at Matautu Port.

This was highlighted in a report submitted by the Border Control Division of the Ministry of Customs and Revenue to their Minister, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio.

The Samoa Observer reported, Tuala, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, confirmed the report he received from his Ministry stating that the certificate of clearance for the boat was only obtained later.

Tuala said the report was not satisfactory and wants to know the process and how the certificate of clearance was obtained when it should have been presented by the vessel's crew upon arrival.

Furthermore, the Deputy Prime Minister said the investigation by his Ministry into the matter is ongoing as it is an issue of border security.

The Kite Runner is owned by businessman Papali'i Lauli'i Alofa and it travelled to Samoa last month to unload cargo in Savai'i for a family funeral.

It was seized by the Police in Savai'i but was later released.

Prime Minister, Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa fronted the local media, a week after the boat entered Samoan waters and said the vessel should have been seized and the crew and owner of the boat charged.

She admitted that there was a security lapse and expressed disappointment that the authorities, instead of seizing the boat at Matautu, ran around trying to get proper documentation for the vessel.

SOURCE: Samoa Observer

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