BY ALEX DADAMU
THE popular money scheme – One Link Pacifica is operating in the Solomon Islands Illegally and is registered under a fishing Company at the Company Haus.
This was revealed in a press conference yesterday afternoon by the Solomon Islands Financial Intelligent Unit (SIFIU) a unit within the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI).
In addressing the local mainstream media representatives, Director of the Financial Intelligent Unit (SIFIU) Jimmy Sendersley reiterated that they have maintained their stand that One Link Pacifica is a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ that is operating illegally in the country as the CBSI does not at any time issue a business license to the promoters of One Link Pacifica to operate as a Finance institution and business.
“It is the regulatory responsibility of the CBSI to assess and provide licenses to those who intend to carry out banking business, but they have to meet strict requirements, as they will be taking in public’s money.
“The business of taking in public deposits comes under banking business, and therefore for anyone to run any banking business, CBSI must give him or her a license to operate the business.
“One Link Pacifica was registered under a fishing company with the company Haus and not a financial institution,” Mr. Sendersley confirmed.
He added that One Link is a Ponzi scheme which is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors and with little risk.
“We have seen many such schemes in the past years, though slightly different in the way they operate. They are unfair schemes where four individuals contribute to make up $1,000 paid to the 1st person joining the scheme. For 100 members to get $1,000, there must be $250 investment contributions from 400 members.
“There is no link connecting One Link Pacific to any Organization or individuals overseas,” he said.
A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that pays existing investors with funds collected from new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often promise to invest your money and generate high returns with little or no risk.
But there is a big difference between a Ponzi and pyramid scheme. In a Ponzi scheme participants believe they are actually earning returns from their investment. In a pyramid scheme, participants are aware that they are earning money by finding new participants.
According to Mr. Sendersley, the Financial Intelligent Unit Director discouraged the public from joining the money scheme, stating that with the trend and signs of the latest happenings, the scheme is nearing its collapse.
“From the current trend of things happening with One Link now, we can see there are signs that the scheme is nearing collapsing and eventually will lead to natural death,” he said.
Mr. Sendersley outlined the signs that they have observed to confirm their presumption.
- Delay of payments when matured after 30 days (1 month);
- Some delaying tactics – alleging that funds will be coming from overseas for the scheme to cater for the next payout, etc.
- Hiding of the founder details (name, address)
- Introduction of new administration fees, which was not introduced at business initiation;
- Incomplete payments only on installments – not as promised
- Blaming game (blaming Financial Institutions) and regulators for delay or non-payments.
- Half Payments and request members to roll over their money/investment for another term (30 days or more)
The Director of Financial Intelligent Unit (SIFIU) reminded the locals who are victims of the One Link Pacifica (Ponzi scheme) to take up cases with the Police as the leaders or mentors can be charged under the Penal Code for stealing, fraud, pretense, conspiracy to procure payment and so forth.