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Leaders of the Tokaikolo church in Nuku'alofa are denying allegations that it has lost millions of Pa'anga invested in an overseas fraud finance company.
But the claim has been disputed by a church pastor in New Zealand who claimed the investment was made in 2005 at the direction of church president, Reverend Dr. Liufau Saulala.
The secretary of the Tokaikolo church, Rev Sione Havili Maile and the Treasurer, Rev Po'uli Vaki have both told Radio & TV Tonga News that they were not aware of any missing funds through an investment made by the church overseas.
But this claim was disputed by New Zealand based Rev. Faka'osi Hau who told TNEWS the allegations are not hearsay but a fact, that hasn't been discussed openly by the church for many years.
Rev Hau said that while working in the Tokaikolo church office in NZ, he was introduced by President Saulala to the owner of the finance company, a David Hobbs, saying that they can gain a lot of profit if they invest in Hobb's company.
“The money invested in this scheme was US$100,000, money collected from church branches in the US, Hawaii, NZ, Australia and Tonga,” Rev. Hau said.
He also claimed that the investment has damaged relations within the church.
“The president of the church also decided to take TOP$1 million (US$573.5 million) from the church's money and invest it in the same company after our annual conference in 2006. The missing money was collected through fund raising drives by the church members,” Rev. Hau said.
According to TNEWS reports that in some of the sermons of the church, the president and some of the church leaders in NZ prayed for their money to be returned – which means the allegations are true.
The Tokaikolo church began working with Hobbs in 2005.
SOURCE: RADIO &TV TONGA/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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