Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil with a photo of Sosene Asomaliu, one of the men wanted by Police
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA- 31 MARCH 2020: Police have arrested and charged a man from Tapatapaō for harbouring and helping escaped prisoner Pati Chong Nee in a raid early this morning.
Si’ueva Sa’i Lupe Taala is now in police custody facing charges of harbouring, aiding and abetting Pati who has been on the run for a year and three months since escaping from the Tafa’igata prison in January 2019.
Chong Nee may have slipped through the police again but the Police Commissioner has warned anyone who will help hide and protect Pati will be arrested like Si’ueva.
Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil said the police received information yesterday evening about Pati’s whereabouts at Tapatapaō and because it was getting dark, the search was delayed to early this morning.
The raid was also delayed to get the proper documentation and a warrant from the Court.
“There were two reasons for the raid; one is to get Pati and the other is to arrest Sosene Asomaliu who discharged a small gun to threatened the police yesterday as they followed leads for the raid,” said Fuavailili.
Although this morning’s raid did not achieve the results he wanted, but the police managed to confiscate unregistered and illegal guns and arrested Si’ueva and another man for the possession of unregistered weapons.
“Turn yourselves in” Commissioner’s message to Pati & Sosene
“Turn yourselves in because police will not rest, and we will find you,” Fuiavailili emphasized.
Other than Pati, police are also looking for Sosene and Iolamo Mo’a Sanele also known as Lamo Sanele.
“These two are also involved in a robbery offence which ended in them assaulting a man before taking his cell phone, computer and money; on top of that threatening police,” said Fuiavailili.
Yesterday, Sosene discharged a firearm when police visited his family home at Fasitoo-tai and the police returned to the scene this morning but could not find him.
They also visited Sosene’s other family at Faleatiu where they met his parents.
“We explained to the parents the situation and that Sosene needs to turn himself in before he gets hurt,” said Fuiavailili.
“What happened yesterday is unacceptable and police will not tolerate such attitude,” he said.
“My advice to you is to turn yourselves in because police are ready and we will find you,” said Fuiavailili.
About 40 police officers including the Tactical Operation Squad (TOS) were involved in the raid aided by drones.
Police also confiscated illegal material such as marijuana plants, ammunition and guns during the raid.