Three Arrested In Samoa For Alleged Pyramid Scheme

admin's picture

Rumors of Cabinet Minister endorsement of crime unconfirmed

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, June 4, 2015) – Three investors charged with an alleged pyramid money making scam will appear in Court next Monday.

Arrested at Faleolo International Airport before flying out of the country last Tuesday, the trio has been under police custody since.

Police Commissioner Egon Lincoln Keil told Talamua today that if the suspects can secure lawyers to represent them, then there is a possibility that they could be bailed out to await their Court appearance.

The three accused are Nicolos Gianno, a 34 year old male from Greece, Ms. Rosita Leoli Standfield a 58 year old woman from Leulumoega village who resides in London and a 74 year old church minister Fa’ato’ese Mati Silao.

Since their arrest, reports have been circulating that the business was endorsed by a Cabinet Minister. Asked to confirm if the letter of endorsement for their business was signed by a Cabinet Minister, the Commissioner said he cannot speculate on assumptions.

"But I have heard that it was a Cabinet Minister but I cannot say for sure, because we are still investigating," said the Police Commissioner.

Asked should investigation prove the involvement of a Cabinet Minister, would charges be served on him or her, Keil said it depends on the nature of how the Minister was first involved.

"If the Minister was lied to or tricked by these people, then he/she is not at fault," said Commissioner Keil.

Whoever endorsed it must have believed the business was genuine and legitimate, he said.

According to police information, the variation flows of funds into suspects’ bank account drew attention to the trio.

The Central Bank of Samoa and the cyber team stepped in and started to monitor the flow of funds which was ‘very suspicious’ hence the action to freeze the account and a stop notice served on the three accused.

The Ministry of Police with other stakeholders have just completed a week long awareness programme on cyber-crime in counter such efforts to use Samoa’s isolation and assumed innocence to engage in such activities.

"Sometimes, people have that care less attitude until something happens then they realize their mistakes," warned Commissioner Keil.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment