Police destroys illegal guns and calls another gun amnesty

 

The illegal guns being destroyed by a compactor machine and the leftovers were later dumped in the ocean

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 05 JULY 2018: Almost 300 illegal guns confiscated by police five years ago were destroyed this morning using a circular table saw and an asphalt compactor machine.

Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil said there were AK47s, shot rifles, and hand guns that are not allowed in Samoa but have found their way some way or another.

“They get in here somehow, there are a lot of ways they can get in to Samoa, and obviously we are not doing our job as good as it should be. We need to cooperate with other border control agencies such as Immigration and Customs to make sure that these guns do not enter Samoa.”

The 285 guns are from police investigations collected over the last 5 years and the cases had been completed and needed to be disposed.

The Prime Minister and Minister of Police, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi used the occasion to announce a gun amnesty in October. The last amnesty was in 2015 amnesty that brought in more than 300 illegal fire arms.

An AK47 on display before it was destroyed

Tuilaepa said that the only reason why these illegal firearms are being smuggled into the country is to guard the cultivation of marijuana plants.

He called on the village councils to do their part by summoning the youth of their village and explain to them the law on certain types of guns that are allowed and those that are prohibited to enter Samoa.

“Many guns have disappeared from the custodian of the police and some were stolen right under the nose of the court officers,” he said.

At the moment, a court officer is charged for stealing a gun that was kept in court for investigations.

Only the Minister of Police can authorize to allow high powered rifles into Samoa.

The Police Commissioner approves 12 gauge shot guns, 22 rifles and air rifles.

Police Commissioner with the Australian High Commissioner (far right) inspecting some of the hand guns before they were destroyed