NZ church laundered millions thru OneCoin while under investigation
The Samoan Seventh Day Adventist Church in New Zealand has come under fire, for allegedly laundering millions of dollars through the OneCoin Ponzi scheme.
The Samoan Seventh Day Adventist Church (SISDAC) is under investigation by New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).
As per a report by Radio New Zealand, the DIA are investigating the church under the Charities Act.
While neither the DIA or Samoan Seventh Day Adventist Church have revealed specific details regarding the investigation, it has come to light the church laundered millions through OneCoin.
According to their website, one of the DIA’s mandates is investigation and regulation of money laundering in New Zealand.
As recounted by an individual who attended a meeting at SISDAC’s Auckland branch last year,
chief executive Willie Papu told the meeting that the church had invested $NZ3.5 million into OneCoin in case its assets were frozen during the DIA investigation.
Uh, investing money into OneCoin to to evade authorities and get it out of the country? Sounds like a slam-dunk case of money laundering to me.
When approached by Radio New Zealand for comment, SISDAC would not comment on Papu’s comments.
The church did state however that the DIA’s investigation “was in its final stages.”
When news broke back in April of scammers using SISDAC to circumvent a Samoan ban on OneCoin investment, SISDAC publicly denied the claims.
As further developments come to light, it’s increasingly looking like yet another case of church leaders herding congregations into a Ponzi scheme for personal gain.
While the DIA’s investigation isn’t covering SISDAC’s links to OneCoin (beyond money laundering), surely there’s some other regulatory agency that should be picking up the slack?
Otherwise what, abusing a position of authority to encourage investment into a Ponzi scheme for personal gain is legal in New Zealand…?
I certainly hope not.
Update 17th February 2021 – Charities Service’s investigation into the Samoan Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church has confirmed OneCoin related fraud.
SISDAC has consequently been struck off New Zealand’s Charities Register.