13 Oct 2015

One defendant walks free in Samoa fraud case

11:29 am on 13 October 2015

One of three people standing trial in Samoa on charges of receiving money by deception has been discharged.

Samoa’s Chief Justice, Patu Falefatu Sapolu

Samoa’s Chief Justice, Patu Falefatu Sapolu Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The elderly Samoan man was discharged by the chief justice, Patu Falefatu Sapolu, who says the remaining defendants - a woman and a European man - still have a case to answer.

The trio were charged after an investigation into a report from the Central Bank of Samoa that alleged the defendants were involved in a money scam that originated in Thailand.

One prosecution witness is a Thai police officer who told the court the operation was a scam and has been closed down in Thailand, and the perpetrators fled the country.