31 Mar 2003

No decision on whether to charge those behind pyramid scheme in Solomons

6:18 am on 31 March 2003

Solomon Islands police say a decision is still to be made on whether to charge the principals behind a financial scam called the Family Charitable Trust.

The Trust has taken nearly one and a half million US dollars in a pyramid scheme which promises a huge payout on an investment of 40 US dollars.

The Central Bank, commerical bankers and welfare groups have unsuccessfully tried to discourage support for the Trust, which has now been operating for nearly a year.

It keeps promising payouts - the latest last week - but so far there have been no reports of any payments being made.

The police spokesman Charles Lemoa says their investigation shows the scheme is illegal but no decision has been made on whether to lay charges.

He says charges of false pretences might be possible if any of the nine thousand people who have bought into the scam were to complain, but so far that has not happened.