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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 13) – Noah Musingku, the architect behind a failed pyramid scheme in Bouganville tried to get the backing of Fiji’s army commander Commodore Voqere Bainimarama by offering him FJ$35million [US$20 million] in cash.

This was confirmed by Bainimarama today.

He told Fijilive he received a letter from Musingku a few months ago offering him money to provide personnel.

"I was asked by Musingku to do some security work in Bougainville," he said.

"Each officer sent down would have been offered FJ$1million [US$581,000] per year."

Bainimarama said he knew it was a con job and did not reply to the letter.

Musingku then contacted other locals who facilitated the travel of eight former Fijian soldiers to Bouganville.

Papua New Guinea authorities alleged the men were training local militants.

However, a spokesperson for the eight men, Fereti Rokodi said they were missionaries spreading the gospel in Bouganville

There is concern for the safety of the men who have been given until December 20 to leave the province.

They are in an area ruled by Musingku, who ran a pyramid scheme, which cheated thousands of investors in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Solomon Islands of their life savings.

He has proclaimed himself monarch of the Royal Kingdom of Papala, which Papua New Guinea authorities say does not exist.

[PIR editor’s note: Noah Musingku has been on the run from law officers for several years since he failed to appear before a court over charges relating to the U-Vistract money scheme. He hired ex-soldiers from Fiji and flew them to Bougainville in Papua New Guinea to train young men in the use of arms.]

December 14, 2005


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