There is good news. Members of the public can breathe a collective sigh of relief that one more conman has been nabbed and removed from the streets of Samoa.
Fareti Fiti, who has been on the most wanted list over the past few weeks for conning money from unsuspecting members of the public, has been caught and is in custody until his Court appearance.
This was confirmed by Police Spokesperson, Su’a Lemamea Tiumalu, yesterday.
Su’a said the Police captured him in his village with the support from the officers at the Poutasi Police post.
“He is remanded in custody until he appears for mention next week,” said Su’a.
Fiti has been charged for obtaining by deception and is set to appear for mention on 28 November 2016.
Su’a said there is a possibility the accused will face more charges.
According to Su’a, Fiti has a history of conning people and he was previously convicted for fraud and theft.
His latest offenses came to light when a mother, Taupauape Rosa Latulipe, filed a complaint with the Police three weeks ago.
Fiti had apparently fooled her over the promise of land at Vaitoloa.
“This person is going around with documents about land getting people to buy this land,” she said. “Be very careful, don’t fall for it. This person is a con. I don’t want what has happened to me to happen to anyone else too.”
After reading a story titled “Alleged conman alert” on the front page of the Sunday Samoan, Eti Sapolu, of Fa’atoia and Lalovaea contacted the Samoa Observer to tell the story of how he lost $10,000 to the same man.
“I wanted to come and support what this mother said in the paper to let the public know that this is not a joke and that this man Faleti is not a good person,” he said. “This happened to me too and I lost $10,000 tala.”
Asked how he came to know the alleged conman, Mr. Sapolu said Faleti used to stay with him in Faatoia back in 2014.
“My sister went to Siumu one day and on their way back, this man stopped their car asking for help,” he said.
“My sister helped him but only to find out that he (Faleti) is banned from the village. We don’t know why. He asked us for help and so I gave him a place to stay and he stayed with us for about four months until he fooled me.
“One day he (Faleti) said it’s their family faalavelave and he needed $5,000tala.
“In exchange he will let me buy 5 acres of land at Vaitoloa so this $5,000 will be the starting payment for the land.
“I didn’t trust him at first until he showed me all the documents of the land and proof that it belongs to him. So I thought why not, this seems like a pretty good deal to me.”
Days later, Mr. Sapolu said Faleti asked him for another $5,000. He insisted there was another buyer interested in the land and offering more than what Mr. Sapolu is giving.
“I gave him what he asked for,” Mr. Sapolu said. “Long story short, after that last conversation with him, I didn’t hear from him again.
“So I did some research and found out that this land that Faleti is referring to is customary land and I know that customary land cannot be sold.”