OBSERVER NEWSPAPER SAYS CHINESE MAFIA LIKELY IN SAMOA TOO

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 2, 2002 - Samoa News/PINA Nius Online)---There are "signs of a Chinese Mafia in Apia," an editorial in the Samoa Observer newspaper states.

The editorial comments came following news reports that the Chinese Mafia, known as The Triad, is doing brisk business in Fiji.

An investigative series in Fiji's Sun newspaper alleged "increasing Chinese Triad criminal activities," such as gambling, prostitution, loan sharking, insurance scams and drug trafficking.

The Samoa Observer said: "Circulating reports tell of a prostitution ring running a lively operation in Apia. It reportedly provides girls to yachts and other visiting boats for a fee."

The Samoa Observer said most of the Chinese girls seen around Apia work for a garment factory. "Or is that just 'a cover' as it is in Fiji?" the newspaper asked.

The Apia operation is said to be run by a couple who frequent bars recruiting girls for the so-called 'oldest profession in the world.’

"If Chinese are involved, it's most likely that Chinese Triad criminal activities will be introduced. Now that's a problem the local authorities are likely to find impossible to solve.

"The main reason is that the success of these activities is based on the old three unrejectables for which this country is famous, called bribery, treating and corruption.

"In other words, the Chinese flair for making money any way possible and the Samoan eagerness to grab it when it's offered, combine to make a dangerous partnership.

"When that happens, village people will not have to wait five years for general elections to demand handouts from their running candidates, or be bribed," the newspaper said.

For additional reports from the Samoa Observer, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa Observer.

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

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