P.M. warns against pyramid schemes

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Dr. Malielegaoi, has warned the public against pyramid schemes saying many are falling for the trap of losing money by chasing more because they lack education. 

Tuilaepa advised people to read the first book of the Bible, Genesis, which teaches man to work hard rather than turn to such schemes.

"What the most want is to bring enough that would last them 200 years at once when the Bible speaks that you shall receive what you only need for the next day," he said.

"This is why we are advising against these get-rich-quick schemes; we would rather have them read the bible and understand that by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.

"People think it is a miracle but little do they know it is the money from others who are giving money. It is only the few people at the top of the scheme who greatly benefit from the scheme."

Tuilaepa noted that such schemes gain popularity during certain periods, referencing the One-Coin scheme which gained popularity amongst the business community a few years ago but which resulted in investigations and Central Bank of Samoa warnings.

"But the funny thing is, it comes and goes over the years, and this is because new people come with new schemes, approaching gullible people to push their agendas," he said.

The Prime Minister’s words come just days after the Central Bank of Samoa (C.B.S.) has reminded the public that pyramid schemes are illegal under section 65 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2016 administered by the Ministry of Commerce  Industry and Labour. 

"A person that carries out such activities may also be charged with section  172 of the Crimes Act 2013 for obtaining by Deception or causing a loss by Deception of any property (including money)," the C.B.S. statement read.

"Those convicted may face imprisonment of not more than seven years. These schemes are very dangerous and very risky to invest in with your money."

It is not the first time the Central Bank of Samoa has warned the public from putting their hard-earned money into a scheme where they may never get their money back.

But as pyramid schemes appear to be circulating again, the C.B.S. issued a public statement reminding the public of the risks involved with pyramid schemes including gifting and re-gifting of money.

According to the Bank, a Financial Intelligence Unit of the C.B.S. is currently looking into these schemes. Once this is completed then this will be referred to the Samoa Police Service and other appropriate Ministries for investigation and charges to be filed against the initiators of the schemes.

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