Money gifting scheme is illegal in Fiji: Financial Intelligence Unit

Pyramid selling schemes, including the cash-gifting scheme making the rounds on social media, is illegal in Fiji, and all operators and promotors could be subject to investigation.

Fiji’s Financial Intelligence Unit Director Razim Buksh said such schemes are deemed illegal under the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission Act 2010 and, proceeds or profits derived from it are regarded as tainted properties and proceeds of crime under the Proceeds of Crime (POC) Act.

As such, he adds tainted proceeds can be restrained and even forfeited under the same Act.

” Our concern is that the pyramid promotors are using social media to set up groups that usually target friends, close associates, religious and social circles. Most scams target the vulnerable in the population and the main concern is that there is a high possibility of a large number of people losing money from the scheme,” Buksh said.

“Those who operate and promote illegal pyramid selling schemes in Fiji and use the financial services of the covered financial institutions will be subject to enhanced scrutiny by the FIU and will be referred to relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution.”

The FIU first sounded the warning late February this year after more than 150 people fell victim and lost money to such scams which are also deemed illegal in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.

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