24 May 2004

Bougainville leaders decry reappearance of notoroius pyramid scam operator

7:44 pm on 24 May 2004

Bougainville's governor John Momis says it is disappointing that separatist leader Francis Ona is sheltering a pyramid scheme operator wanted by PNG police.

In a joint statement, Governor Momis and the president of the Bougainville People's Congress, Joseph Kabui, condemned Noah Musingku for circulating lies and promising Bougainvilleans fabulous wealth.

Musingku has operated the U-Vistract scam which collapsed owing hundreds of millions of kina to Papua New Guineans.

He had also tried to establish a similar scheme in Solomon Islands.

The leaders say Musingku has convinced Mr Ona that great wealth can come to Bougainville without effort, leading to the establishment of an illegal bank in Mr Ona's so called Republic of Mekamui.

Governor Momis has called for Mr Ona to co-operate with the Bougainville leadership.

"It is very important for the current leadership of Bougainville to establish communication with Francis Ona and talk with him and try and convince him to come on board with the rest of us and work together to achieve what we set out to do by implementing the Bougainville peace agreement."

Bougainville governor John Momis