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M.V. Sili to remain out-of- service for at least 6 weeks

The American Samoa Government vessel, MV Sili, will be out of commission for another 6 weeks, according to the deputy director of Port Administration Christopher King.

The ship has been in the drydock at the government slipway and needs much more attention than earlier thought.

King said that while MV Sili remained out of commission, charters by the American Samoa Power Authority of the Samoa government vessel Fotu o Samoa helped move cargo to Manu'a.

However the Fotu has now returned to Samoa.

King said MV Sili is in a badly deteriorated state.



Feds ask for restitution for ASG in Rudin fraud case

“…punish him to the fullest extend of the law,” give $3Mil back to AS, AG Talauega says
fili@samoanews.com

American Samoa Government could receive more than $3 million in restitution from Native Hawaiian Holding Corporation (NHHC) official, Quin Ngoc Rudin, whose “selfishness and greed has a negative” and lasting impact on ASG and the people of American Samoa, according to court documents filed by the US government at a federal court in California.
 



AmSamoa cited in trafficking lawsuit as transit point

Stayed 4 days on a derelict boat, in Pago harbor, transported out on a fishing vessel
fili@samoanews.com

American Samoa’s name has again surfaced in a federal court case and this time, its a labor trafficking lawsuit with court documents citing the territory as the transit point for two fishermen from Indonesia heading to Honolulu to work on a fishing boat, where they ended up allegedly living in slavery conditions.
 



Two men arrested in sex for drugs & money scheme

Allegedly involved in scheme involving young teenage girls
fili@samoanews.com

Two men charged with drug possession were arrested over the weekend at a vacant house which was unlawfully occupied by the owner’s male relative, who allegedly told young teenage girls they had to have sex in exchange for drugs and money, according to court documents.
 
Defendants Wayne Gasolo and Ioane Sakopo, aka Inky, made their initial appearance Tuesday in District Court with bail set at $10,000 each. It’s unclear at press time if either of the defendants were able to post bail.
 



Police commissioner says majority of drug sources are two local companies

Many DPS challenges are “not new” — they were just not resolved by previous admins
fili@samoanews.com

Police Commissioner Save Liuato Tuitele says three or four recent suicide cases “have something to do with drugs” and claims that two locations or companies are the source supplier of illegal drugs.
 
Save made the revelation during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting at the Agriculture Department conference room, where he spoke about the many challenges faced by the Department of Public Safety, saying that they are not new — they have been there for a long time — but now with the current administration, they are working to address them.



Amper facing a lawsuit from local minority shareholders

As Bluesky Pacific Group owner Amper SA seeks to sell Bluesky to a Fijian company in lieu of an offer from a local investor group, Amper is also facing a lawsuit in Spain filed by its local minority shareholders.
 
Amper and Fijian telecommunications company Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited (ATH) are still in the process of obtaining necessary approvals to complete a pending purchase of Bluesky after passing over a competing offer by the current Bluesky management group, Bluesky employees, and local investors.
 



Amper declines local investor offer to buy Bluesky

Opts to sell to Fiji govt controlled company instead

Samoa News has learned that an investor group that includes local residents and Bluesky management made a competing bid to purchase the Bluesky Pacific Group last month, but that Bluesky’s present owner, Amper SA (Amper) decided to sell the company to a Fiji government controlled company instead.
 
The sale of Bluesky Pacific Group has not yet taken place, pending needed endorsements from various parties including regulatory approvals in the United States and in each of the countries in which Bluesky operates.
 



TBAS chair responds to many of community’s concerns

FDIC insurance, correspondent bank, directors’ personal financial status, gov’t owned…
fili@samoanews.com

The Territorial Bank of American Samoa has already adopted a policy that forbids lending to directors or senior management of the government owned financial institution, at all, says Chairman of the Board Utu Abe Malae, adding that’s one step further than required by TBAS statute. Utu addressed public concerns about the bank as it is set to open operations early next month. Among the concerns is that TBAS is still working to secure “routing numbers” or a (US) correspondent bank — after the original one, Zions Bank, faced with their own issues could not help TBAS.



ASG may sue Amper SA over ASH Cable Agreement

fili@samoanews.com

The American Samoa government has voiced concerns with the parent company of the Bluesky Pacific Group over violation of the American Samoa Hawai’i Cable (ASH-Cable) agreement by failing to among other things, notify ASG before accepting the offer from Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH). Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo told Samoa News that “ASG has informed Amper that it is considering legal action to enforce its rights under the ASH Cable Agreement.” 
 



DOC: Position statement on ASG's Territorial Bank

Says bank support from community would affirm that we believe in ourselves…
reporters@samoanews.com

From an “economic development perspective”, Commerce Department, through its director Keniseli Lafaele, yesterday issued a “position statement” on the ASG owned Territorial Bank of American Samoa, which is slated to open the first week of October this year.
 
“Money lending is the lifeblood of an industrial‐technological society. Most importantly, it allows those without wealth access to acquire capital and resources to achieve economic independence,” the statement says.
 



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