Crypto scamming has reportedly hit even religious pulpits according reports from New Zealand. Based on an intelligence report from the New Zealand financial intelligence unit (NZFIU), the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) has leveled allegations against two ‘large churches’ in the Asia Pacific (APAC) country of assisting in the perpetuation of the OneCoin crypto scam.
As per the Samoan top bank, some of the ministers in the two churches have promoted the scheme quite widely. A statement by CBS stated that though both churches have Samoan roots, they have expanded to other APAC jurisdictions; with their target being the indigenous people of the pacific islands.
The statement read;
The target of OneCoin is through the Churches. There are two large churches that were used in OneCoin operations. These two Churches, although originating in Samoa, have branches in New Zealand and Australia, thereby affecting the Pasefika community. This is why NZFIU have formulated the view that public education on the issue would be futile because the Church Ministers are the promoters, and they are held out to be trustworthy, hence, people of the congregation will follow suit.
Defying Samoan financial systems
The New Zealand financial system was used for OneCoin transactions inorder to circumvent the financial system of Samoa. According to the NZFIU, approximately $2.3 million has passed through New Zealand as part of the Ponzi scheme. According to CBS, bank accounts belonging to the two churches were used to launder money, with OneCoin representatives blatantly pitching the Ponzi scheme to congregants of the two churches which are Worship Centre, and the Samoan Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The Samoan central bank has not only implicated those two religious centers but also put the country’s money transfer operators on its radar, as well as a number of individuals.
The Ponzi scheme across Continents
The OneCoin Ponzi scheme has not only been pitched in the Asia pacific island regions but also in churches as far between as East Africa. A video posted by crypto publication, crypto Xpose showed the scam being promoted to congregants in a Ugandan church known as the OneLight church. The scam is being promoted under the OneLife name though, with the video showing promoter Simon Lee narrating how the scheme has ‘changed’ the lives of investors.
The reports coming out of New Zealand relating to OneCoin, come just over a month after American authorities grabbed OneCoin head Konstantin Ignatov; on wire fraud conspiracy charges.
The Scam revealed
The holes are there in OneCoin for all to see. Its promoters claim it is a crypto-currency but evidence suggests otherwise. One, it cannot be freely transferred, exchanged or sold. Second, it lacks a public blockchain over which transactions can be verified. Which is a big red flag for anyone who has a bit of knowledge on crypto, and third it has never been listed on any exchange despite many promises by its promoters that it would.
This development is welcome, as the crypto market matures slowly but steadily while also exposing and shedding off the scam coins.
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