Former Immigration officer sentenced in ID forgery case
Former Immigration Officer Polone Savea convicted of forgery in connection with the issuance of fake immigration identifications to Chinese women was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail, as part of his seven years probation before the High Court last week.
Savea, whose family was present for support during sentencing, was initially charged in connection with two criminal cases.
The first case is based on allegations that he issued fake immigration identifications to two Chinese women, of which he faced two counts of forgery and public servant acceding to corruption.
Also in this case, Polone is charged with Matagi Lelilio, who is facing bribery of a public servant — his case is currently pending in the high court.
The second case against Polone charges him with two counts of forgery and one count of public servant acceding to corruption, and his co-defendant was Jin Hua Sullivan (aka Nunu). However, the government has since dismissed the case due to lack of evidence.
In a plea deal with the government, Savea pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, while the remaining was dismissed as part of the plea offer from the government.
During sentencing the defendant apologized to the court, the government, Immigration, his extended Savea family in Matu’u, his CCCAS Church in Matu’u, his wife and children for his wrongful actions, which has disgraced his family and church.
“I fell into temptations by the devil,” he said.
Kruse sentenced the defendant to seven years in jail and fined him $3,000. The court suspended the execution of sentencing and placed him on probation for seven years and he is to serve 28 months in jail. The court then stayed 16 of the 28 months and ordered the defendant to serve 12 months in jail. He was ordered to remain a law abiding citizen.
The CJ reminded the government of laws for government employees who are convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude.
The government’s case claims that the case against Polone began when the AG’s investigating officer was informed about a situation involving fake immigration cards issued by defendant. Court filings say the immigrations cards in question were issued to two Chinese women, Ruiquin Liu and Jianxing Huang.
Court filings state that inquiries were run on the immigration ID cards used by Liu and Huang and it was discovered the Alien Registration numbers on their ID cards belonged to different foreigners with inactive or closed files.
According to the government’s case, $2,500 was given to Savea to fix their ID and papers.