A home-grown scam, defrauding its members of millions of dollars and promising trillions in return, has emerged in Honiara, prompting the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to disassociate itself from the scheme.
At the same time, ADB, the regional banking institution, has warned unsuspecting members of the public to avoid investing in the scam.
“It has come to our attention that certain persons have misled members of the public to pay fees in order to obtain Asian Development Bank (ADB) funds, the Unit Head, Solomon Islands Pacific Country Office Asian Development Bank, said in a public notice warning the public.
“Please be advised that ADB does not operate in this manner. The public should avoid dealing with such individuals or organizations. Furthermore, please note that ADB Staff or Consultants will never request personal fees in order to transact ADB business,” the ADB warned in the public notice published on its website.
“Should you come across persons or organizations requesting fees for ADB funding, please report the matter to your nearest police station.
“For more information on scams using ADB’s name, please visit https://www.adb.org/news/features/beware-business-scams-using-adb-s-name
ADB has identified the promoter of the scam as Mr. Stephen Hokiwasi (aliases Stephen Wasi, Steven Hoki Wasi, Stepano Hoki), according to the list of organisations, individuals, projects or offices that the ADB has produced, disassociating itself from it.
Mr. Wasi allegedly promoted two projects in the scheme, which have milked more than $7.8 million from the scheme’s 1, 038 members between 2017 and last year.
The two projects are Local Investors/Infrastructure Development Project or “Infrastructures Funding (Solomon Islands); and Infrastructures Funding Taskforce, Solomon Islands, the ADB said.
Mr. Wasi’s email address is: [email protected], the ADB said.
By Alfred Sasako