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Immigration Officer Savea out on bail in alleged fake ID case

reporters@samoanews.com

Chief Justice Michael Kruse earlier this week granted the motion for bail release for Polone Savea, an Immigration officer who was held in police custody on bail of $40,000 for two criminal cases against him. It was alleged that Savea had issued four fake immigration identifications to four Chinese women on separate occasions.

In the first case, the government charged Polone Savea and Matagi Lelili’o as co-defendants. Savea is charged in the first case with two counts of forgery and public servant acceding to corruption, while Lelilio is facing bribery of a public servant.

The second case filed by the government is against Immigration officer Polone and Jin Hua Sullivan (aka Nunu).

Polone is charged with two counts of forgery and one count of public servant acceding to corruption while Sullivan, a Chinese woman, is charged with one count of bribery of a public servant.

During the hearing on Monday Savea’s attorney Assistant Public Defender Mike White informed the court that the defendant has put up three vehicles which are valued at $40,625.

During the initial hearing held a week ago, three cars valued at $20,000+ were initially put up for the defendant’s bail. However Chief Justice Michael Kruse told the defense to provide the court with something concrete in order for the court to make their decision.

He said during the first hearing that the vehicles put up for bond are several years old, all together the vehicles total value was $22,000. The Chief Justice added that the court needs something concrete to make an informed decision to release defendant out on bail.

He said if a brand new Toyota Tacoma was presented for bail, he would not have a problem, but he does have a problem with vehicles which are several years old, because the court does not know who has surety of the vehicles. “Junk plus junk equals junk” said Kruse.

According to the government’s first case against Savea, he is accused of issuing immigration IDs to two Chinese women Ruiquin Liu and Jianxing Huang. It’s alleged that Huang gave co-defendant Lelilio $2,500 to give to the immigration officer for their papers, which she did through four payment installments.

It’s also alleged that Lelilio gave Savea the money when they were at the immigration office.  Huang identified the immigration officer Savea, as the one who took her picture for her ID.  Court filings say that Huang claims she didn’t know she was getting a fake ID card. 

Polone confirmed that the ID cards were fake. Savea alleges that Lelilio called him saying she needed help getting ID cards for two Chinese girls and he told her to bring them to the office where he took their pictures.  

The other two Chinese women who received fake ID’s, Huiying Guo and Meinu Nie, had been issued Alien Registration Numbers (AR numbers) that were already issued to other foreigners.

Court filings state that Savea admitted to receiving $200 from Sullivan for the ID cards. According to the government’s case Savea said he told Sullivan to bring the Chinese ladies and their passports and $100 each to the immigration office. 

Savea said he used the same method he had done in previous cases to make the ID cards. It’s alleged he used a closed or inactive ID number, took the photo, and processed the fake ID card.

The order issued by the Chief Justice on the release of Savea, notes that while out on bail he must remain a law abiding citizen at all times, make all court appearances, stay in close contact with the Public Defender’s office, shall not leave or attempt to leave the territory without prior written permission of the court and he cannot directly or indirectly contact the Chinese women or government witnesses involved in the case against him.



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