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Samoa justice ministry can't explain how businessman left country

graphic of passport stamps

Apia, SAMOA — A Samoan businessman who had already surrendered two passports to the Ministry of Justice managed to leave the country without anyone able to explain how he did it.

The Samoa Observer reported that Tui Va'ai Jr is now facing an arrest warrant when he is found.

The Ministry of Justice told the newspaper that Va'ai had surrendered two passports when ordered by the court.

"To date we still have the two passports that were surrendered to the court as part of his bail conditions," said Justice chief executive Papali'i John Taimalelagi.

The immigration division of the Prime Minister's office have launched an investigation into how he left the country.

Last week, the District Court issued an arrest warrant for Tui Vaai Jr when he failed to appear for sentencing. 

According to the arrest warrant, Tui Vaai of Si’usega and Fasito’otai was implicated on a deception charge. 

The warrant states the accused sold Lot 35 in Plan 11388 to Laufau Saleimoa Amosa, which was already sold to a Victori Lui, thereby obtained $10,000 and causing losses to Saleimoa, a female of Vaitele and Auala Savaii.