FBI EXPLORING OPENING AMERICAN SAMOA OFFICE

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (April 22, 2001 - Samoa News/PINA Nius Online)---The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is exploring opening an office in American Samoa, according to FBI special agent John Gillies.

American Samoa is the only U.S. possession without a resident FBI presence, the special agent said.

Gillies, in a telephone interview from Honolulu, said: "Based on the information we are receiving from American Samoa and investigations we are working on, we feel it warrants setting up of an office at this time.

"But there is no timetable on when this issue will be settled.

"We have [also] been asked by the authorities in American Samoa to establish an office and I believe there has been a resolution passed by the Fono that also requests FBI intervention."

During the 26th Legislature, a resolution to this affect was passed.

Senator Tuanaitau Tuia recently made public his recommendation that federal authorities become involved in the investigation of the half-a-million-dollar overspending of the Fono Jubilee celebration budget.

"In the meantime, matters in American Samoa will continued to be handled by the (FBI) Honolulu Office," said Gillies.

"I believe, and this is my opinion, that there is a good working relationship between us and the American Samoa authorities," Gillies said.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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