top of page

Understanding the Motivations Behind Drug Dealing: A Global Challenge Requiring Collective Efforts

Old BluwaveTV article Jun 10, 2022

Photo- Samoa Police Drug Bust June 2022_BluTV

Illegal drug trade knows no national borders; it is a pervasive issue that impacts countries across the globe, demanding unified efforts and international collaboration to combat it effectively.

The law enforcement authorities in Samoa made significant strides in addressing this issue by apprehending several individuals, and few occupying high-ranking positions in Government who were allegedly involved in the illicit sale of drugs.

This incident raises a fundamental question: why do individuals with seemingly respectable jobs turn to drug dealing?

Research conducted on this matter reveals a complex web of motivations. People often resort to selling drugs for many reasons deeply entrenched in socioeconomic factors, personal circumstances, and, at times, sheer desperation. Economic hardships, lack of employment opportunities, and financial desperation can lead individuals down a path where illegal activities like drug trafficking seem like the only viable option for financial stability.

How much is the Minimum Wage in Samoa?

In Samoa, if you earn the minimum wage of 3.00 tala (NZD 1.80) per hour and work 8 hours a day, five days a week, your gross income before tax amounts to 120.00 Tala ($72.00 NZD).

In situations where individuals are the primary earners for their families, especially those in influential roles within their extended communities, fulfilling financial obligations beyond family care becomes exceptionally challenging.


Photo-Samoan father collecting coconuts for his family

The pressing question is, how can individuals increase their income to provide for their families and fulfil their commitments to family and community responsibilities?

They can look into investing in education, obtaining higher qualifications that enhance one's employability and lead to better-paying jobs.

Another proactive approach involves exploring job opportunities within and outside Samoa, such as seeking employment in countries like New Zealand and Australia, often through seasonal work programs. Additionally, a common practice in Samoa involves taking out loans. We have all been there, but sometimes it is the only option.

Could Agriculture be a better alternative?

One of the Samoan Government initiatives for promoting and selling agriculture products

Photo-One of the Samoan Government initiatives for promoting and selling agriculture products-"Uluai Seleselga"

Another avenue the Government of Samoa advocates to bolster your family's income involves investing in agriculture. Agriculture is undeniably a legal, ethical, and sustainable alternative to investing in being a drug dealer. Not only does it contribute to economic growth and food security, but it also strengthens communities and promotes lawful livelihoods.

In contrast, investing in drugs leads to criminal activities, detrimental social consequences, and severe legal repercussions. Choosing agriculture over drugs is a morally sound decision and a pivotal step toward building a positive future for oneself and the community.

Quizzy, an Australian born and trained customs dog, sniffs out cocaine planted on an inbound boat during a training exercise at Apia Port, Samoa (Claire McGeechan/AusAID/DFAT/Flickr)

The drug problem in the South Pacific is a harsh reality that demands our attention and understanding.

Exploring the reasons behind why individuals engage in drug-related activities necessitates a deep and empathetic understanding, free from judgment.

The Samoan police are actively striving to apprehend those involved in drug trafficking, but there is room for enhanced efforts. The Samoan Government must step up its initiatives to provide people with viable alternatives, ensuring that they have more choices than resorting to becoming the next Pablo Escobar of the South Pacific.



bottom of page