CON ARTIST LEAVES COOK ISLANDERS OUT OF POCKET

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By Tara Carr

AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (April 30 2002 – Cook Islands News)--A handful of unsuspecting Cook Islanders have fallen victim to a Fijian Indian woman who pretended to be a staff member of the Cook Islands Immigration Service.

Cook Islands Principal Immigration Officer Tutai Toru confirmed last week that the ministry had received complaints regarding a Ms. Razika Reshmin Ali.

Toru said Ms. Ali, who has since left the country, had also claimed to be a New Zealand High Commission staff member.

Both ministries have confirmed that Ms. Ali was never a staff member and have no knowledge of her.

Toru said the woman had also claimed to be an investor in a motel in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, she was able to borrow money from unsuspecting locals and Toru said some are still claiming the funds have not been repaid.

A local woman told Immigration that Ms. Ali had used her telephone and had run up a number of bills.

Toru is issuing a warning to all members of the public to be aware of individuals like Ms. Ali.

He said everyone should be mindful of who they accept into their homes or share their tables with.

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands News Online.

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