TOP SAMOA IMMIGRATION OFFICERS CHARGED WITH

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PASSPORT SALES

APIA, Samoa (August 13, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Samoa's chief immigration officer, Tuipoloa Suisala Eteuati, has been charged with 18 offenses in connection with the alleged sale of the Polynesian country's passports.

Among the charges are the issuance of nine illegal passports, theft, and forgery.

Former head of immigration until suspended last April, Tuipoloa remains free on bail.

Meantime, another senior immigration officer, Totive Toeiu, has been charged with 25 offenses in the expanding passport scandal. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Samoa Supreme Court has scheduled hearings on the matter for May 18 - 22 next year.

Other senior immigration officers who were suspended together with Tuipoloa and Toeiu when the investigation began have yet to be charged with any offenses.

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