Former bank manager charged with theft

The former Branch Manager for the Bank of the South Pacific [B.S.P.] in Savai’i has been charged by the Police for the alleged misappropriation of over $18,000. 

Vaitogi Aopo Salanoa is facing theft as servant charges. 

“It’s alleged that a total of $18,600 of bank funds was misappropriated,” said Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Ve'atauia Fa'atasi Puleiata, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer. 

The accused, from Aleisa and Sa’asaai, will appear in court on 22 August, 2020, the Assistant C.E.O. said. 

Efforts to get comments from the accused have been unsuccessful.

As reported earlier,  the country Head of B.S.P., Taituuga Maryann Lameko-Vaai, has assured customers their funds are completely “safe”. 

“I can confirm that there is a police investigation underway for alleged misappropriation,” Taituuga said. 

Asked whether the embezzlement of funds involved fake loans being granted, Taituuga declined to comment.

“I cannot divulge on the details pending that investigation,” she responded.  

The bank has also offered guarantees of clients’ deposits. 

“I can however provide absolute assurance that our customers’ funds with the bank are completely safe and secure,”  Taituuga told the Samoa Observer. 

“And that the bank has zero tolerance for any proven misconduct and will be dealt with accordingly and with the highest priority.”

The Country Manager said the bank had honest and hardworking staff. 

“If there is proven misappropriation, it would be totally [unfair] that the selfish actions of one or two staff can totally discredit and tarnish the name of the bank not to mention the other 100 staff who have committed to serving our customers,” said Taituuga. 

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