FBI remains silent on reason for their recent visit to the territory
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Honolulu Division that oversees American Samoa has not confirmed nor denied that there is any ongoing investigation, during a trip by agents who were in the territory earlier this month.
This is according to Joy van der Voort, Public Affairs/Community Outreach Specialist FBI - Honolulu Division in response to Samoa News questions.
“We remain grateful for any opportunity to meet with our local law enforcement partners and reinvigorate any conversations or concerns that the citizens of American Samoa may have,” said Voort in an email to Samoa News.
Asked about the FBI presence in the territory and specifically at the Department of Public Safety two weeks ago, and whether they are investigating a case of alleged Police brutality, which led to criminal charges against police officers.
Voort said they can not confirm nor deny if there are any ongoing investigations.
“However, we do ask the public to reach out to us at (808) 566-4300 to report any criminal activity at any time.”
The visit by FBI agents came as a surprise to the leaders of the Department of Public Safety.
“This unusual as the FBI normally doesn’t come to American Samoa until something significant happens,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Fo’ifua Fo’ifua Jr in an interview with Samoa News yesterday at his office.
He said the FBI Agents met with the Vice and Narcotics and the DPS Training Division on Tuesday as they have “training” coming up next month. “And that is all I know about their visit, other than that, I am not aware of anything.
“They were supposed to meet with the Police Commissioner [Wednesday] at 9am but that meeting did not happen.
“We did not know they are on island, even the Commissioner was unaware of their trip and why they are here,” he said.
“I would think that if they are here for investigating purposes they should let us know, they cannot just come here and start their investigation without informing us about their actions.”
Asked about reports on a case of alleged police brutality, which led to the criminal charges against a number of officers and whether that is being investigated by the FBI, but Fo’ifua said he was unaware.
“That specific case is now before the court and it’s been pushed back to the 16th of November, 2022. “And if they are here to investigate this matter, they have no right to come investigate local matters, when it’s already been handled by the local law enforcement. They [FBI] should only step in if we seek their assistance,” said the Deputy Commissioner.