23 Jul 2002

Get-rich-quick scam operating in Solomon Islands

8:38 am on 23 July 2002

Solomon Islands police have launched a probe into a get-rich-quick scheme which its promoters say is linked to the Lady Diana Trust Fund and backed by the Central Bank.

Many people are reported to have spent their money after being told that a 50 US dollar investment was enough to become a millionaire within a year.

George Atkin reports.

"Director of Criminal Investigation Department, Jackson Ofu says the investigation has been mounted following a directive from the Director of Public Prosecution Office. He says the British High Comission in Honiara has denied anyone in Britain is connected to a Solomon Islands group or groups to operate such a money scheme. Mr Ofu says the Central Bank has clarified that it has no connection with the money scheme after operators claimed the Bank's involvement. The operators of the scheme promised member that their Fifty American dollar investment could earn them millions of dollars in less than a year. In a country where money is hard to come by, because of a shattered national economy, the promise of earning of millions of dollars in a short time is understood to be luring thousand of Solomon Islaneders to pay membership."

George Atkin for Radio New Zealand International in Solomon Islands.