Samoa’s Central Bank Cracks Down On OneCoin Investment Scheme

Crime, News | April 10, 2018 By:

The central bank of Samoa has launched an investigation into OneCoin, a pyramidal marketing scheme widely believed to be fraudulent.

OneCoin is promoted by offshore companies OneCoin Ltd (Dubai) and OneLife Network Ltd (Belize), both led by Bulgarian Ruja Ignatova, who also has German citizenship. OneCoin has been described as a Ponzi scheme, both because of how it has been set up and because of many of the people who are central to OneCoin having previously been involved in other such schemes.

Following recent warnings about the increasing volume of scams associated with OneCoin, Maiava Atalina Ainu’u-Enar, the governor of the central bank of Samoa, has confirmed an investigation into the scheme. The governor declined to name any of the suspects, but said that the central bank is taking the matter seriously.

“There are people and organizations currently under our microscope, but this is part of ongoing enquiries and our investigation,” Ainu’u-Enar said.

The OneCoin scheme is alleged to involve some local organization and people, including some prominent church ministers, who use local agents to encouraged investors to sign up accounts and purchase tokens which can then be used to invest in a cryptocurrency, promising high rewards.

“You invest $1,000 and then in four months, your cash is 10 times more, which means you cash in $10,000,” Ainu’u-Enar said. “This is a snare that is used to catch people’s money.”

The governor added that they are currently working proactively to ensure that the Samoan people are well-informed and well-prepared to counter these types of investment schemes.

“Besides the media campaign that we are doing in prompting people to be extra careful when investing their hard-earned money in businesses that are difficult to understand or very complex, we are also ensuring that our commercial banks and money transfer operators assist us in preventing people sending money overseas without proper supporting documentations,” Ainu’u-Enar said. “Rome was not built in one day, as the saying goes, so we are slowly building our awareness campaigns, awareness programs and internal controls within the financial system.”

OneCoin has been singled out in numerous warnings issued by authorities around the world and investigated by relevant agencies. At present, companies associated with OneCoin are being investigated in Bulgaria, England, Ireland, Italy, the United States, Canada, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and many other countries.