9 May 2019

Cryptocurrency under investigation in Samoa denies wrongdoing

3:37 pm on 9 May 2019

A cryptocurrency company being investigated by Samoan authorities for alleged money laundering is denying it has any official presence in the country.

The Central Bank of Samoa

The Central Bank of Samoa Photo: RNZI/ Koroi Hawkins

Samoa's Central Bank is probing churches, businesses and individuals in connection with OneCoin, which it's labelled a ponzi scheme.

OneCoin is alleged to have used New Zealand to funnel millions of dollars into Samoa, where a strict ban on the digital currency is in place.

The Central Bank announced investigations after receiving a report from New Zealand police into OneCoin and has said it may sue the company.

But in an email, OneCoin said no one had the authority to operate on its behalf in New Zealand and Samoa.

It said so-called independent marketing associates (IMAs) able to onsell its product to investors are effectively self-employed contractors.

"The IMAs are independent, self-employed contractors for the OneLife Network and it is in this strict sense the company as such has no business activities in Samoa and New Zealand," the emailed statement said. OneLife is an affiliate of OneCoin.

The company said IMAs were required to sign a contract which gave them the opportunity to recruit other IMAs and would receive bonuses based on sales.

OneCoin added that it's not a ponzi scheme and has strict anti-money laundering policies.

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