FBI SUBPOENAS AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT RECORDS

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 4, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)---The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued subpoenas to the American Samoa government in an effort to collect information regarding Daewoosa’s operations here.

The FBI is looking into the processing of the permits and licenses for Daewoosa Samoa by the government and is asking a series of questions, sources told Pacific Islands Report on Wednesday.

Director of the Department of Commerce, Aliimau H. Scanlan, confirmed that he was questioned by the FBI, and that the FBI had subpoenaed documents pertaining to Daewoosa Samoa.

"The FBI was asking about documents pertaining to Daewoosa that are in our possession, such as the company's articles of incorporation," said Aliimau. "The records are public information."

Aliimau, who was named director in 1999 after Daewoosa was already in operation, declined to comment further due to the on-going federal investigation.

The governor's press officer, Birdie Alailima, confirmed that the government has been issued subpoenas.

Alailima said that the FBI subpoenas also includes information on the federal investigation into the medical insurance scam at the government owned LBJ Tropical Medical Center.

Although the local government is cooperating with the subpoenas, Alailima said there are issues that must also be considered, such as confidentiality of medical records and federal jurisdiction.

"Obviously we want to cooperate and that is the bottom line," Alailima explained. "However, the Attorney General's Office is reviewing the questions of jurisdiction and confidentiality."

Alailima said a statement will be made once the attorney general's review is completed.

 

AMERICAN SAMOA LAWMAKER DISAPPOINTED WITH FBI INVESTIGATION

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 3, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)---Federal agents conducted an investigation in American Samoa that led to the arrest of someone locally, but the investigation was carried out without consulting local law enforcement agencies or political leaders.

Rep. Muavaefaatasi Ae Ae Jr. told the House membership last Friday that he is concerned about the activities of the federal government, especially the FBI.

The Samoa News reported that the governor of American Samoa, Tauese Sunia, was not briefed about the FBI's investigation that resulted in the relocation of some Daewoosa Samoa workers to Hawai‘i and the arrest of Kil-Soo Lee, president and owner of the closed garment factory, on American Samoa soil, he said.

"I am not against the FBI doing their job, but the fact that the local proper authorities, especially the governor, were not informed concerns me," said the veteran lawmaker. "The Fono was not even informed."

Governor Tauese said he plans to file a formal protest with the proper federal officials.

Rep. Muavaefaatasi said he was raising this issue because he did not want the federal government trampling on the authority of the local governor.

He urged House Speaker Matagi Mailo McMoore to make contact with the Governor's Office, informing them of the concerns raised in the House over this issue.

Speaker Matagi agreed with Rep. Muavaefaatasi's concerns and said he will contact the Governor's Office and report back to the House with an official reply.

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