Samoa lawyer puts foot down on ‘complicated fraud’

Samoa is sending a strong warning to international criminals that they will be caught, prosecuted and punished.

The message comes from the Office of the Attorney General with the conviction of two Chinese tourists who skimmed $70,000 from local A.T.M machines.

In her submission at the hearing, lawyer for the Attorney General’s Office, Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa, said Samoa would not tolerate criminals who come here “taking advantage of the vulnerability of our small country.” 

The Chinese had used A.T.M skimming devices and counterfeit cards to steal more than $70,000 from the Bank of South Pacific.

The defendants Yang Quigreen and Zhong Shuiming, who are under police custody, are represented by lawyer, Alex Su’a. 

In her submission, Lupematasila recommended four and half years jail terms. Presiding is District Court Judge Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma. 

The court heard from Lupematasila that the crime was preplanned and premeditated. 

The defendants arrived in Samoa on August 2016 and two days later they managed to steal from eight different A.T.M’s at Papauta, Vaitele and Apia. This case is not a one-time offense. Another aggravating fact, “this is the first case of its kind in Samoa.

“Where persons bring card skimming devices and counterfeit cards for the purpose of stealing monies albeit from overseas account using B.S.P Samoa ATM machines.” 

The lawyer said the Samoan electronic finance systems have not been exposed to such fraudulent conduct before and this is the first case of its kind.

The defendants have clearly taken advantage of and used their advanced knowledge and system of fraud to steal from the Samoan A.T.M outlets. 

“This heavily aggravates the offending in this matter.” 

 

Samoa is sending a strong warning to international criminals that they will be caught, prosecuted and punished.

The message comes from the Office of the Attorney General with the conviction of two Chinese tourists who skimmed $70,000 from local A.T.M machines.

In her submission at the hearing, lawyer for the Attorney General’s Office, Lupematasila Iliganoa Atoa, said Samoa would not tolerate criminals who come here “taking advantage of the vulnerability of our small country.” 

The Chinese had used A.T.M skimming devices and counterfeit cards to steal more than $70,000 from the Bank of South Pacific.

The defendants Yang Quigreen and Zhong Shuiming, who are under police custody, are represented by lawyer, Alex Su’a. 

In her submission, Lupematasila recommended four and half years jail terms. Presiding is District Court Judge Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma. 

The court heard from Lupematasila that the crime was preplanned and premeditated. 

The defendants arrived in Samoa on August 2016 and two days later they managed to steal from eight different A.T.M’s at Papauta, Vaitele and Apia. This case is not a one-time offense. Another aggravating fact, “this is the first case of its kind in Samoa.

“Where persons bring card skimming devices and counterfeit cards for the purpose of stealing monies albeit from overseas account using B.S.P Samoa ATM machines.” 

The lawyer said the Samoan electronic finance systems have not been exposed to such fraudulent conduct before and this is the first case of its kind.

The defendants have clearly taken advantage of and used their advanced knowledge and system of fraud to steal from the Samoan A.T.M outlets. 

“This heavily aggravates the offending in this matter.” 

The prosecutor went on to say this is not an ordinary case.

“This is a complicated fraud carried out by two defendants who not only travelled to Samoa as visitors but for the purposes of using their skimming devices as well as their counterfeited cards to steal monies.” 

She reiterated this case is the first one in Samoa. 

“The Court should set a deterrent message not only to the public but also to the international world of the consequences of such conduct if committed in Samoa. “In order to deter like minded criminals like the defendants from taking advantage of the vulnerability of our small country and the systems in place.”

Sentencing has been scheduled on 5 July 2017. 

Read more at Samoa Observer

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