No arrests over ransacking of Salelologa market

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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WANTED: These men were among the men from Salelologa who ransacked the market.

WANTED: These men were among the men from Salelologa who ransacked the market.

The men who ransacked the Salelologa Market last Monday remain at large.

As of yesterday, no one has been arrested despite their identities becoming common public knowledge after their photos were posted on mainstream and online media.

On Monday, men from Salelologa vandalised the market and damaged a number of businesses owned by people from Salelavalu.

The Sunday Samoan understands that a delegation of Police officers from Upolu had found two of the men on Monday. 

They arrested them and were in the Police vehicles when the Police were surrounded by men from Salelologa who demanded that they be let go.

Attempts to get a comment from the Police have been unsuccessful.

But the Salelologa Village Mayor, Touli Fagaese, told the Sunday Samoan that they are cooperating with the Police investigation.

“To date, we are working with the Police and offering assistance with their investigation,” he said.

“No one has been charged or arrested yet. From our side, we have left the incident to the Police who are conducting their investigation into the matter.”

In the meantime, the Salelologa Village Mayor assured that nothing would ever happen again. 

“We have met the entire village and laid out the magnitude of penalties if anyone from Salelologa will ever repeat the events of last week." 

“The matter is now in the hands of the Police and the Village Council will render support in whatever the end result is."

“We have also met Salelavalu and the differences between the young men have been sorted and so we are trying to move forward.”

Last week, Touli issued a public apology over the ransacking of the Salelologa market.

“We are sorry for what had occurred, but we don’t condone this type of behavior.”

Two arrests have already been made into the incident that led to the ransacking of the Salelologa Market. 

Salelavalu men, Kiuma Talouli Levi and Manui Tanuvasa Lafaele have been arrested and charged in connection to the vicious beating of Fui Tomesi from Salelologa.

The men were handed over to the Police last week Tuesday evening following a lengthy Salelavalu Village Council meeting.

The Sunday Samoan was asked to leave the meeting. 

Manui, 36, is charged with actual bodily harm while 21-year-old Kiuma, is charged with aiding and abetting with the co-defendant to commit the offense of causing injury. 

The men were allegedly responsible for attacking Mr. Tomesi, which was caught on video.

The video shows Mr. Tomesi kneeling while someone held a rifle to his mouth. A voice could be heard asking him to apologise. 

As Mr. Tomesi started to speak, he is punched and slapped repeatedly. The interrogator also swore in Samoan. 

Upon arrival at the Mulifanua wharf, more Police officers were present to collect the suspects in the Police vehicle. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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