Dual Passport Travelers Face $2000 Fines


Ten Samoans face $2000 fines each for traveling to and from New Zealand during the state of emergency.

Samoa Observer reports that interim Chair of the National Emergency Operations Center, Agafili Shem Leo, confirmed at a press briefing on Monday that ten dual-passport holders will be fined, having arrived on the last repatriation flight that landed on Friday 13 November.

Agafili said Samoa’s immigration system can easily spot travellers doing this.

The new penalties were introduced in early September.

Government is trying to manage the number of people in quarantine at any one time and with a long queue of Samoans abroad trying to get home not getting shorter, it wants to limit unnecessary travel.

“We need to work together and give the opportunity to family members who truly need to come back home,” he urged.

When the penalties were introduced, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the $2000 fine was meant to crack down on “tricksters” who travel to New Zealand on their kiwi passport and return on their Samoan one.

“The Government is paying for the expenses twice when they come for holiday and going back. Those tricksters are being warned that there is a substantive fine to penalise them and they will remain here until whatever year the borders are opened,” he said.

Government currently pays for the bulk of the quarantine costs for repatriated citizens, with the exception of one meal a day (usually dinner) at the quarantine sites.

Passengers pay for their own airfares.

There are three more confirmed repatriation flights before the end of the year, with the N.E.O.C. considering one more from Fiji.

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