21 Feb 2020

Solomons' central bank looking into new anti-scam legislation

1:15 pm on 21 February 2020

The Central Bank of Solomon Islands says legislation specifically targeting scams, such as ponzi schemes, is needed in the country.

That comes as the bank reiterates its warning to the public about an ongoing ponzi scheme called One Link Pacifica.

Solomon Islands money

Photo: ppart/123RF

Despite being registered it as a fishing company, One Link Pacifica's promoters have been taking cash deposits from clients and promising them a 300 percent return on their investment within 30 days.

The director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Jimmy Sendersley, said One Link was using the ponzi scheme model, which pays out rewards in the early stages to convince more people to sign up.

"The Central Bank and Solomon Islands Financial Intelligence Unit advise the public, the One Link Pacifica is operating illegally, it is a ponzi scheme and that people should not be lured to join such a scheme," Mr Sendersley said.

Over the years dozens of Solomon Islanders have been duped by pyramid schemes including the likes of U-vistract and another called Charity and now One Link Pacifica.

Mr Sendersley said legislation was needed that specifically targeted ponzi scheme operators in the country.

He said the Bank knew who most of the directors and promoters of the current scheme were but because they were only using cash it was difficult to track them.

"At the moment, we don't have legislation for pyramid schemes or ponzi schemes but it all depends on the members. If they do not receive their promised returns then what they should do is they should go to the police and lodge complaints with the police," he said.

Mr Sendersly said his unit would look to meet with relevant government ministeries and other development partners to consider developing legislation specifically targeting scams like pyramid or ponzi schemes.