The Central Bank of Samoa (C.B.S.) is aware of people involved in the cryptocurrency scheme, especially OneCoin, who have received false promises from agents promoting the crypto asset.
C.B.S. Governor Maiava Atalina Ainu’u-Enari told Sunday Samoan these are high profile people, including business people, who call their office asking for assistance in tracking their money.
“I am aware there are people involved in the cryptocurrency business but I don’t know specifically who is involved. I hear that there are people involved; there are those who have already invested in some if these crypto assets,” Maiava said.
“There is no law stopping people from investing, we can only warn them the risks they are getting themselves in because most of these cases, we’ve dealt with these cases before, despite the warnings they still went ahead and after a few months they come back to us and ask if we can trace this and that because they haven’t heard from the person.
“So by that time we can’t do anything. The international financial system moves very quickly, so the money we don’t know where to trace it from.”
Maiava said the promoters of these cryptocurrencies and agents live overseas and the locals usually send them money.
“Despite of the warnings, they still went ahead and they get nothing in return. We can only warn the people, and we can’t do much,” she said.
“I hear so many stories that some people who invested in the scheme was waiting for a payout in October and nothing came and so now OneCoin has changed their story telling them you don’t get a payout, but you can use your investment to buy a land or a car in Australia.
“And these are Samoans living here, so OneCoin is changing their story telling them you can buy real estate in Australia and they were shown pictures of cars and properties, and people are being dragged in more and getting attracted.”
Maiva is calling on people who have been victims of these false promises to speak up about their experiences so that they can help others who are considering investing in the scheme.
“These are people who call our office, and we tell them we can’t help you because you are not giving us any details and also to speak out about it to let everyone know, but they don’t want to speak out because of their reputation because some of them are really high profile people.
“There are people who have been affected but do not want to speak out because of fear of ruining their reputation, being called stupid, but they are not helping other people.
“Come out and speak to help other people because sometimes the pride gets the better of them and they will make up stories that they did get something in return, but you are not helping yourself or other people. They would get to the point where they would lie about it saying they did get something,” she said.