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Policeman stealing $300,000 One Link’s money must follow Dora: TSI

THE recent conviction and two years sentencing of the founder of the country’s largest Ponzi scheme becomes the case in point for the officer who stole $300,000 under police custody to follow suit.

While Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) appreciated the efforts by police to investigate, arrest and charge those who operated the Ponzi scheme known as One Link Pacifica, it equally calls for arrest and charging of the of the suspended police officer(s) alleged to have stolen more than $300,000 belongs to One Link, which went missing last year while kept under police custody.

Transparency Solomon Islands notes that sentencing of the Managing Director of One Link Pacifica, Mr. Charles Dora to two years imprisonment is vital in the journey for the One Link victims recovery of their stolen money and the missing $300,000 from police custody. Thus, TSI calls for both police and the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to leave no stone unturned, in order to bring true justice to the victims of the Ponzi scheme. In this case, the police officer suspected for stealing the confiscated One Link money kept under police custody as exhibit must brought before the courts.

If we are to fight corruption in public institutions and discourage corrupt attitude perpetrated by certain individuals or groups then it has to start with upholding and enforcing our laws the penal code. It is good to learn that police were doing their job to ensure those responsible for the Ponzi scheme are dealt with by the courts. However, the police officer alleged to have stolen the exhibit money must appear before the same court that sent Mr. Dora to serve two years imprisonment.

Further, the latest update by the Commissioner of Police during one of his press conferences that the report on the missing $300,000 has been complete by police and will be submitted for further assessment is welcoming. But since then, the matter was never updated but we hope things are progressing to reach the court room.

This case must serve as a reminder and a lesson to others involved in similar schemes depriving ignorant citizens of their hard-earned money. Solomon Islands has been a haven for Ponzi schemes, one such was the Charity scheme whose victims are still waiting and hoping to recover the money they lost. This case must serve as a lesson and a reminder to those who may want to operate other so-called banking or money schemes in the country to adhere to the laws of this country like the Financial Institution Act (FIA). It also served as a strong warning to scammers or bogus agents who are scamming people for money by means of collecting cash deposits or valuable assets from clients.

Lastly, discipline within the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has been on the public radar in the previous months, which many citizens express their disappointment with the work of the RSIPF. But thanks to the hardworking Commissioner of Police, who strive to bring back confidence and public trust in the work of the RSIPF, by ensuring there is strong discipline in the work of the force. We must continue support our Commissioner of Police and the hard-working officers who ensure the reputation and image of the RSIPF is not tarnished by the actions of one or two officers. TSI commends the Commissioner of Police for ensuring that investigation into this matter is now complete and calls on the Commissioner of Police to take this matter further and charge the officer(s) responsible for the missing One Link $300,000. The RSIPF is responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of law and order including detection of crimes and apprehension of offenders. This case of the stolen money from within what is supposed to be a safe and secured place is truly concerning and brings disrepute to the RSIPF. 

Transparency Solomon Islands in its continuous advocacy against corruption, mal-administration and high prevalence of corrupt practices strive to ensure a clean government operated on the principles and values of democracy. It must be noted that TSI is part of the global campaign to minimize corruption across the globe and ensure citizens are aware of their democratic rights and can exercise their rights when necessary. Corruption is everybody’s business and we must together work hand in hand to fight and eliminate corruption in Solomon Islands.