ATM thefts

Samoa AG seeks hefty sentence for ATM theft

A lawyer from the Attorney General’s Office, Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa, during her summary at the District Court, is reported to have said Samoa will not tolerate criminals who come to take advantage of the vulnerability of a small country.

The Samoa Observer said the court was told the Chinese used ATM skimming devices and counterfeit cards to steal the money from the Bank South Pacific.

The lawyer was reported as urging the court to apply a hefty sentence as a deterrent.

ATM theft accused claim insomnia, seek bail release

The two accused appeared before Chief Justice Patu Tiavaasu’e Falefatu Sapolu this morning.

Defense lawyer Alex Su’a sought bail for his clients claiming they are not in a safe state.

“Your honour my clients wonder if an application for bail at this time is suitable. They have been experiencing cases of insomnia. They are not eating the food being served at the compound at the moment and they haven’t had any contact with their families since their arrest,” Su’a said.

Alleged ATM thieves were restaurant workers in Samoa

“We scrutinized the video evidence given to us by the affected company and we searched a Chinese restaurant in Matautu Tai. We found a bunch of forged debit cards in the rubbish bin inside the restaurant,” said Acting Police spokesperson, Su’a Le Mamea Tiumalu.

“We apprehended two of suspects from there. At the moment the total missing is approximately more than $17,000 tala and we are still trying to find where it’s gone,” said Su’a.

ATM thefts under investigation in Samoa

RNZ reports the acting police commissioner, Afamasaga Michael Soonalole, said the two suspects and one other man, all of them Chinese, arrived in Samoa from Fiji early this month and stayed in a local motel.

One of the trio has left the country.

The acting commissioner said the alleged theft was discovered after the bank viewed surveillance footage of people using the ATM machines at night.

He said the suspects used a machine to produce cards enabling them to access pin numbers and get out cash.