Samoa Police Maritime Unit Strengthened by Australian Defense Force Handover

On Friday, 21st June 2024, a significant handover ceremony was conducted at the Samoa Police, Prisons & Corrections Services (SPPCS) Maritime Unit. The Australian Defense Force officially transferred four practical boats to the Samoa Police Maritime, marking a milestone in the longstanding support from Australia.

The ceremony was graced by the presence of the Minister of Police & Prisons, Faualo Harry Schuster, Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo, and distinguished representatives from the Australian Defense Force, Australian Federal Police, and New Zealand Police. Honored guests and senior executives of the SPPCS also attended.

Rev. Siaosi Salesulu set a reflective tone for the event with his opening words of encouragement. His Excellency, Australian High Commissioner Will Robinson, emphasized the symbolic unity fostered by the handover, likening the rescue boats to a canoe bringing together the Pacific family.

The Australian Defense Force’s gesture underscores over 35 years of maritime support to Samoa. High Commissioner Robinson highlighted the boats’ critical role in bolstering the Samoa Police’s capabilities in addressing rising crime rates, illegal fishing, and tracking illicit drugs and transnational crime.

Minister Faualo Harry Schuster expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Australian Defense Force for their unwavering support. He acknowledged the Australian Defense Cooperation Program’s invaluable contributions and the strengthened ties between the two nations.

This handover ceremony not only enhances Samoa’s maritime operational capacity but also solidifies the collaborative bond within the Pacific region.