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Kite Runner incident labeled a "national embarrassment

Senate President Tuaolo M. Fruean
Source: Samoa Observer

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The hearing before the Senate Select Investigative Committee (SSIC) last week revealed that a lack of proper action to hold government officials accountable for their involvement in the American Samoan-registered boat, Kite Runner, is a "national embarrassment," according to Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean.

Parts of the interrogation that took place during the SSIC hearing. were aired by govt-owned KVZK TV last week and has been reported by regional media as follows: 

According to these reports, Director of Homeland Security, Samana Semo Ve'ave'a was questioned during the SSIC hearing chaired by Senator Togiola Tulafono on whether the "pleasure craft" had breached any local laws during its trip to Samoa in April of this year. 

In response, Samana said there were international border laws that were breached but it happened "after the fact". 

He was then asked to explain what he meant by "after the fact" to which Samana responded by saying their investigation concluded that all the required papers needed for a boat to leave the territory for another country were only obtained after the boat had departed American Samoa for Samoa. 

Togiola then followed up on how the boat managed to leave their jurisdiction without a Certificate of Clearance. 

Samana claimed that an official from Customs, Sheehan Samuela Seigafo has been accused of "forgery" for allegedly signing the C.o.C. on behalf of the Deputy Chief of Customs who was acting on behalf of the Chief of Customs at the time. 

The DHS report recommended to have Seigafo charged with forgery. KVZK reported that Seigafo has dismissed the allegations made against him and has already engaged a lawyer to clear his name. 

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