A Tongan woman admitted to customs officers that a parcel she tried to collect contained drugs worth nearly TP$200,000, a court has been told.

Giving testimony in a remand hearing in American Samoa, the customs officers said woman, Mele Moimoi Mapu, told them the parcel contained crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as ice.

A sniffer dog detected the drugs and customs officers at the post office in Pago Pago waited for her to collect the parcel last week.

Mapu faces up to 10 years in jail under American Samoan law.

She has been remanded in custody and will appear in the High Court on the charges.

Police estimated there were more than two kilograms of the drug with an estimated street value of US$90,000, equivalent to TP$198,000 or NZ$120,000.

Mapu told the remand hearing she bought the methamphetamine from a man she met on Facebook, but had never met in person.

Judge Gwen Tauiliili remanded the case to the High Court.

Apart from imprisonment, a conviction could also incur a penalty of $US10,000.

Samoa News reported that a total of four kilos of methamphetamine and four kilos of marijuana were detected being smuggled through the Fagatogo post office in American Samoa in February this year.

And in December last year, Radio New Zealand reported that a woman had been arrested in the US territory after sniffer digs detected drugs with an estimated street value of US$150,000 being smuggled in a parcel of computer parts.

The American Samoan legislature passed laws in 1999 making the possession of even small amounts of illegal drugs punishable by long jail terms with no possibility of parole.

The main points

  • A Tongan woman admitted to customs officers that a parcel she tried to collect contained drugs worth nearly TP$200,000, a court has been told.
  • Giving testimony in a remand hearing in American Samoa, the customs officers said woman, Mele Moimoi Mapu, told them the parcel contained crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as ice.
  • A sniffer dog detected the drugs and customs officers at the post office in Pago Pago waited for her to collect the parcel last week.

For more information 

Ice found in mail valued at $90,000

Sniffer dog finds drugs in mail in American Samoa

Fagatogo Post Office drug bust involves postal worker

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