Overstaying boats are American owned

Horizons held under Police custody at Matautu Wharf.

Horizons held under Police custody at Matautu Wharf.

by Lagi Keresoma

APIA: FRIDAY 31 MAY 2013: Crews of two boats taken into Police custody Tuesday are American citizens.

“(The) US Embassy is aware of the situation,” an embassy spokesperson said by email today.

The two boats Horizons and Last Stall have overstayed their permits and have been issued deportation orders to depart within seven days.

Horizons resembles a fishing boat, Last Stall is similar to a tug boat.

A Police preference to respond to media questions through releases plus a lack of response to most questions has prevented a more detailed account of the situation.

Police have yet to confirm how many crews were on board the two vessels, though one source said one of them had five.

When the seven days for departure ends is not known.

The embassy spokesperson declined to provide more details saying the “matter is between the Samoan Government and the individuals in question; we refer inquiries to relevant Samoan Government authorities.”

“The U.S. Government encourages all its citizens to abide by local laws when visiting foreign countries,” the spokesperson said.

The two boats were anchoured offshore of Saluafata village on the north east coast of Upolu Island for the unusually long time of about four weeks they came to attract the attention of the Police.

Guns were found on board the two boats.

Whether that is illegal here is not known.

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