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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Samoa Police Move Against Illegal Roadside Vendors
Imported goods cannot be sold on street, says commissioner

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Feb. 7, 2013) – It’s illegal; that’s the warning from the Assistant Police Commissioner, Le’aupepe Fatu Pula, as Samoa police move to stop the selling of imported goods and products on the side of the road.

The warning was made during a press conference yesterday.

Le’aupepe is adamant that these "business-minded people" setting up small stalls along the roads of Apia will be charged if they continue to do so.

He pointed that the problem is they are blocking the road and obstructing the public.

From Friday last week, police officers have removed people by force and are clearing up footpaths in town where street vendors have been selling goods and products.

"It is illegal under the Police Offences law on Walking and Peddling Goods," said Le’aupepe.

"The law only allows locally-made products like handicrafts, koko Samoa, talo chips and other goods made in our country to be peddled but only if they have a WST$50 [US$21] peddlers’ license.

"Other than that, products imported from overseas such as soft drink cans, umbrellas and all those things being sold on footpaths and in front of wholesales by other street vendors, are illegal.

"They are not allowed to do so. The police are now removing people selling these goods on footpaths by force.

"They are being given warnings and if they continue to ignore these warnings, they will be charged according to the law."

According to Leaupepe, more than 10 people were taken to the police station while others were warned.

"Only one man has been charged after he was warned a number of times but was found still to be selling goods on the road," he said.

Asked about wholesalers who are sending people out on the road to sell their imported products, Le’aupepe said this was also illegal.

He explained, "There are conditions on their license that the products and goods are to be sold inside the stores and not given to street vendors to sell on the road."

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