Samoan central bank has become the latest authority in a long list of financial institutions to crack down on OneCoin. The suspected pyramid scheme in cryptocurrencies operates out of Bulgaria and has received much heat for promising unbelievably high returns to the investors. This scheme is considered fraud by several countries including Finland and India. In fact, Italy fined the company for 2.59 million euros for using pyramid schemes to lure investors. The scheme is also called One Life in Samoa.
Maiava Atalina Ainu’u-Enari, the governor of Central Bank of Samoa, talked to Samoa Observer last week, suggesting that OneCoin is a fraud. She said, “There are people and organizations currently under our microscope, but this is part of ongoing inquiries and our investigation. “You invest $1,000, and then in four months, your cash is ten times more, which means you cash in $10,000. “[OneCoin] is a snare that is used to catch people’s money.”
She mentioned that such pyramid schemes are growing in Samoa and the bank is serious about catching frauds. According to her, the bank is currently “working proactively to ensure that our people are well informed and well prepared to counter these types of investment schemes.”
“Besides the media campaign that we are doing in prompting people to be extra careful when investing their hard-earned money in businesses that are difficult to understand or a very complex, we are also ensuring that our commercial banks and money transfer operators assist us in preventing people sending money overseas without proper supporting documentation,” she added.
The bank had previously warned users that OneCoin is a risky investment. In a statement released in March, the bank wrote, “CBS, as the Regulator for financial institutions in Samoa, does not wish to prohibit new ventures that will benefit Samoa’s public and economy; however, as with every new venture such as cryptocurrency, there are always risks involved.”
Several governments and authorities have already warned investors regarding OneCoin. The scheme has a flashy homepage, coupled with several promises. It even suggests that the OneCoin blockchain is safe and easy, but it doesn’t exist. The company has several affiliates working with it, mostly traders, locals and even church officials who lure people into the scheme. The CBS has also acknowledged this but remained silent on the church’s involvement.
The founder of the network, Dr. Rua Ignatova, was arrested in India last year after which she stepped down from her position. She was charged with pyramid scheme operation there. Though the network is Bulgarian, it is officially incorporated in the UAE, where it has continued operations regardless of a worldwide crackdown on the company.
The Bulgarian authorities also raided the premises of the network in January, taking about 50 people in custody for inquiry. Bulgaria and Germany also launched a joint investigation with Europol and Eurojust
The CBS is currently running a campaign asking people to be wary of the investments they make. The bank is asking people to make informed choices and invest only in those businesses that are registered and/or licensed in Samoa.