03 November 2020, Apia Samoa. Two women and a man caught with methamphetamine and marijuana by the Alii and Faipule and the Untitled Men (aumaga) of Faleatiu village appeared in the Supreme Court of Samoa yesterday morning.
The three were in a rental car stopped during a village aumaga road block, guarding the access road that leads up to the Faleatiu mountain ranges, notorious for drugs and marijuana plantations.
Fa’atau Uepa, Makerita Ioane and Paepaeteleiletupuahalloween Slade were taken by Faleatiu matai to the Faleolo Outpost last month, and the trio have been in police custody for since.
Samoa Police said one of the three, Makerita Ioane, was a fugitive on the run from authorities ‘for quite some time’.
The roads blocks by Alii and Faipule of Faleatiu is part of the village drive to assist Samoa Police on the war against drugs in Samoa, and change the national reputation of Faleatiu as being notorious for drug trafficking.
“It is to catch any person or people that are using the access road in our village for drug and weapons trading”, said Faleatiu matai at the time.
“We are taking a stance that this road block is to show the people that we are not allowing this shameful routine to continue because whenever people hear of “Faleatiu” they think of drugs and other shameful things”.
In Court, Prosecution asked for a further two weeks adjournment as they are still trying to finalise charges against the three defendants.
Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke set the 13th of November to hear bail applications for all three defendants, and gave Prosecution the 16th of this month to finalise charges.