SAMOA ALERTED TO ILLEGAL SALE OF CUSTOMARY LAND

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APIA, Samoa (May 17, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Samoa's Lands, Survey and Environment Department says it is concerned at the number of attempted illegal sales of customary land.

The department's director says it was alerted to the attempted sales when buyers wanted to register deeds of ownership, including one man who had spent $200,000 buying land that turned out to be customary.

The department has issued a public notice to remind citizens that such sales are against the law.

Customary land makes up about 80 percent of Samoa's acreage. Of the remaining land, six percent is freehold. The remainder is in government hands.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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