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Samoa identifies neighbor as source of drug smuggling

Faces of meth abuse.
Source: RNZI

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa's government has pointed the finger at neighboring American Samoa as being a source of illegal drugs being smuggled into the country.

Newsline Samoa reports the customs minister, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, saying American Samoa had been a long standing headache for his country's border control.

Tialavea said smugglers were sailing on fishing boats to American Samoa and bringing back the drugs such as methamphetamine.

"Anyone can jump on a fishing alia, shoot off to American Samoa, collect the stuff and land back here as if they've been out fishing," Tialavea said.

The minister said Samoan border control was working to the best of its abilities but more sniffer dogs were required for it to be successful.

"We need more dogs, including one that can sniff hard cash," he said.

"I can't say illegal drugs are not leaking from our boarders, there are many challenges, but it's the best that we can do with what we've got."