A Samoa church, based in Auckland, New Zealand is involved in promoting the OneCoin ponzi program

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is investigating an Auckland church linked to a fraudulent multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency. It is the second church to be investigated by the investigation department related to the OneCoin program, whose leaders have been charged with fraud by the US government.

samoa
Image via rnz

DIA revealed in a statement that the investigation was open to Auckland-based Samoa Worship Center, about the OneCoin project. As part of this, the department collected information on OneCoin, but said it was not the main target for the investigation.

In New Zealand, according to investors and experts, OneCoin representatives targeted vulnerable members of the Samoan community, selling cryptocurrencies worth tens of thousands of dollars. As reported in April 2019, two other churches, the Samoan Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church (SISDAC) and Samoa Worship Center, were used by project representatives to make their plans for the Samoa people.

OneCoin denies any wrongdoing and declares that it is not responsible for the so-called “independent contractor” who sells its products.

The Samoa government has imposed a ban to prevent residents from participating in any transactions on OneCoin amid growing global concern over the project. However, through the churches, a number of members, including ministers and the public, were involved in the project that promised great returns in a short time.

A pastor of Auckland Worship Center, Avele Tanielu, said he knew about DIA’s investigation but denied the church was related to OneCoin.

Both the Worship Center and SISDAC are also being investigated for money laundering by the Central Bank and the Samoa police.

A representative of the Apia-based Worship Center in May denied wrongdoing and said the church was exploring legal action against the Samoa government.

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