Six defendants charged with possession of narcotics and utensils have pleaded not guilty to drug charges against them in relation to a police raid that seized over $23,000 tala cash, drugs, illegal handguns, ammunition and electronic devices.
One of the six, Duncan Junior Ah Hi, has pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of an unlawful firearm, a 9mm pistol that was confiscated during the July 2021 raid of two locations in Vaitele and Lalovaea.
The defendants are all denying narcotics charges relating to methamphetamine weighing 3.3 grams, a portable electronic scale and four clear glass pipes – all seized during the raid.
A case of domestic violence reported to police by children led to an investigation that revealed the alleged operation.
Other charges facing the six defendants include possession of illegal firearms, utensils, and possession of unlawful ammunition namely, “3 x 9 mm live rounds, 18 x 40 cal live rounds and 3 x 380 live rounds”.
Ilaita Tafili and Pelenatete Puleiata Moafanua are the home owners. They entered not guilty pleas through Counsel Fuimaono Sarona Ponifasio.
The other four defendants were unrepresented. Tootoo Tootoo, Christopher Milo, Malo Posini and Duncan Junior Ah Hi each face eight charges against them. Despite being unrepresented Mr Ah Hi accepted the one charge of possessing an illegal weapon for one of the pistols seized.
All six defendants were granted bail last Monday with conditions to surrender their travel documents, and sign-in at the Apia Police Headquarters every Wednesday.
Due to the huge backlog in Court procedures, an April 2022 hearing date has been set for the case.
The police operation had also seized electronic devices, cell phones, speakers, jewelry and a combination lock safe.