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PC Mauga calls on everyone to help with the local drug crisis

Secretary of the Office of Samoan Affairs, Paramount Chief, Mauga Tasi Asuega. [photo: AF]

Secretary of the Office of Samoan Affairs, Paramount Chief, Mauga Tasi Asuega has called on the government and traditional leaders to work with officers from the Department of Public Safety, to put a stop and cure the problem of drugs in the territory.

Speaking at last week Wednesday's cabinet meeting, Mauga said drugs are a real problem in the territory today, and there is a need for everyone to step up and do something to stop it.

“We heard reports about the latest police drug raids a few weeks ago," he said. "Not only did they find a huge quantity of drugs, they also found weapons. Drugs are still coming to our shores and if we don’t act today, the future of our children will be affected, and everyone, including parents and families, will also be affected. We need to act now.”

 Mauga was referring to the recent raids of homes in Taputimu and Alofau, by detectives of the Vice & Narcotics Unit, which resulted in the arrest of three people, one of whom is a former cop who is still unaccounted for.

He told directors that everyone in American Samoa has a responsibility to fulfill in their families, villages, churches, and even inside the workplace. And that is, helping to combat the problem of drugs in the territory.

“…We have to stand together and lend a hand to the Police Commissioner and his people, to find ways to stop drugs from entering our country… and it’s our duty as leaders to find ways to cure the problem, and also find a rehab program to help them,” Mauga said.

He further noted that domestic violence against women and young girls was also a major problem in the territory.

Combating the growing drug problem is the main reason Gov. Lolo M. Moliga established the “American Samoa Drug Control Commission” and the Police Commissioner re-constituted the Vice & Narcotics Unit, as well as arming police officers, with those in the Vice Unit allowed to carry 24/7.