Witnesses Tell Police of Drug Movements inside Tanumalala Prison

Tanumalala Prison Room 2, Prison opening June 2019. Photo: Samoa Global News.

Translated from the files of FaaSamoa. The investigation into a suspended prison officer at Tanumalala has now moved to include the question of how marijuana has been found on the premises.


Deputy Police Commissioner Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti said investigations into the conduct of a suspended prison officer has led to credible witnesses stating that marijuana is moving through the prison.

“O loo ua iai se molimau faamoemoeina i totonu o le nofoaga, ua faapea mai e lē na’o telefoni, ae o loo maitauina foi le feavea’i o fualaau faasaina i totonu o le nofoaga”.

This should not have come as a surprise given that a prisoner serving time at Tanumalala appeared in the Supreme Court of Samoa last December charged with possession of marijuana.

Sefo Amituana’i was charged with possession of 27 marijuana seeds and 34 branches totalling 13.48 grams.

The inmate was brought in from Tanumalala to Mulinuu 20th December last year, to appear before Justice Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma, who raised concerns and questioned how drugs entered Tanumalala.

“These are very serious charges against you,” Justice Roma told the prisoner that day.

“Especially so because you are currently serving time at Tanumalala, and now face drug related charges.”

When Justice Roma set a hearing date of 19 April 2023 for Sefo Amituanai, the prisoner told the Court he was due to be released before that date, on the 3rd of April.

Ceces House of Fashion is located at the Toleafoa Complex in Savalalo, Apia.

Papalii Monalisa says investigations continue into the suspended prison officer and Police are looking at the possibility that more officers may be involved in illegal activities within Tanumalala.

“O suesuega o loo faagasolo nei, pe lē o iai nisi o le aufaigaluega o loo aafia ai i nei faiga faasolitulafono.