A youth who appeared in Court this week charged with escaping from Olomanu centre last December has been blamed for cultivating marijuana inside the jouvenile detention centre.
A detainee escaped from Olomanu juvenile detention centre, went straight to Faleolo Police post and reported that Prison Officers were growing marijuana on the premises.
Responding to questions from Samoa Global News, Fuiavailiili Su’a Egon Keil said they did charge the youth for escaping from Olomanu and subsequently investigated the claim that marijuana was being cultivated in the prison facility.
“The police immediately went to the location and indeed recovered several cannibis pot plants;
“We took the plants into our possession and furthered our investigation but later found not enough evidence to charge anyone from the incident,” said Samoa’s Police Commissioner.
“Prisons is conducting their own adminstrative investigation into the matter”, added Su’a.
When contacted the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons and Correctional Facilities Levaopolo Losa Siaosi said that only one bucket containing marijuana was found.
“That’s Egon’s saunoaga ae o le mau lava ia a le falepuipui e na o le tasi le laau sa maua.”
“E tasi lava le paelo sa toto ai le marijuana e about 2 or 3 inches”.
According to the Assistant Commissioner, the canabis was found at the plantations being worked by the youth detainees.
“O laau na maua mai le mea la e fai ai faatoaga…Ona aumai lea i totonu o le Ofisa”.
Levaopolo disputed that the pot plant(s) belonged to Prison Officers, claiming instead that the youth and detainees own the cannabis confiscated by Samoa Police.
“Ae o le tama lea na sola.. o ia e masalomia e ona mea”.
“The boy who escaped.. it is he that we suspect owns these.”
Samoa Global News requested assurance that the escaped youth who had blown the whistle on cannabis being cultivated at Olomanu was safe and had not suffered consequences of accusations made towards prison guards.
Levaopolo gave her assurance that Olomanu prison officers follow the rule of law and that she herself conducts monthly visits as part of her monitoring.
“I’ve been there several times to do my monitoring on a monthly basis”.
“E faamalosi le tulafono.”
Levaopolo insisted that she was unable to comment further because the case was before the Courts. However, the only case before the Court at this time is regarding the prisoner being charged for escaping.
No charges have been laid in relation to cultivating ilegal drugs within the correctional faciltiy.
Levaopolo advises that we should await the result of their internal investigations.
This is a developing story.