FBI BLOCKS GOVERNMENT OFFICES IN PAGO PAGO

HONOLULU (Pacific Islands Report, Mar. 4) – U.S. federal agents on Thursday raided government offices in Pago Pago, American Samoa, blocking access to offices of the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, the Associated Press reports.

More than 20 armed FBI agents took part in the surprise raid, which took place in the morning before government workers arrived for work, the AP reported.

The reason for the raid was not immediately disclosed.

Lt. Gov. Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia has been under investigation for corruption.

American Samoa is a territory of the United States.

According to the AP, Sunia appeared on the state-run television station KVZK-TV Thursday night and said the FBI did not tell him the details surrounding the investigation. He said he cooperated, but criticized his treatment by the agents.

"As acting chief executive officer of this territory, I feel that I deserved much better treatment and courtesy than what was extended to me by these federal agents," Sunia reportedly said.

Gov. Togiola T.A. Tulafono was in Washington attending meetings during the raid.

About 20 of the federal agents arrived aboard a military plane that remained at Pago Pago International Airport Thursday afternoon, the AP reported.

March 4, 2005

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