PNG Conman Noah Musingku Takes U-Vistract Online
The Australian recently published an article about John Momis, the President-elect of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. There is no doubt that Momis is widely respected in both Bougainville and PNG – respect achieved through an established track record entrenched in his invaluable contribution as a founding father of PNG and an equally insatiable commitment to seeing things through.
Momis has declared that number one on his priority list is the disarmament of the large number of weapons still present in the province. No doubt, the revisiting of the imminent restoration of Panguna mine is also high on the agenda. However, one issue that seems to have taken a back seat over the past few years and left to wither in the wilderness is the controversial figure Noah Musingku and his fast-money scheme, U-Vistract.
I would argue that after the Bougainville Revolution and blackbirding, Musingku’s U-Vistract ranks as the next event that has had the most devastating impact on the island. U-Vistract emerged after the 1997-1998 Asian economic crisis when foreign investment in PNG fell by two thirds and the currency slumped by 45 percent. The pyramid scheme preyed on the PNG public, from villagers to political stalwarts, and conservative estimates place U-Vistract’s financial gain and total personal loss at around K580 million.
In fact, it was indeed this naivity of political support from established leaders of the day (which included Bougainvilleans Francis Ona and Joseph Kabui; and PNG’s Speaker of the House Iairo Lasaro and even Chief Ombudsman Simon Pentanu) that contributed to the perceived validity of the scheme as viewed by the PNG public.
To some degree, that political support still remains – albeit fragmented. This was most recently demonstrated with outgoing ABG President James Tanis asking the PNG Government last year to pardon Musingku for the sake of peace – despite Musingku maintaining an armed security force and remaining secluded in his no-go zone stronghold of Tonu.
What would be of interest to many in PNG is that Noah Musingku and U-Vistract have not capitulated nor have they ceded their efforts. Instead, and quite true to his word, Musingku is operating U-Vistract from the heart of Bougainville through his International Bank of Me’ekamui (IBOM) – the “official bank for Bougainville reconstruction, restoration and rehabilitation”. In other words, U-Vistract has adopted a marketing approach in line with the 21st century – they’re using the web to increase market share and foster growth.
Musingku’s IBOM offers a wide range of financial services including interest bearing desposits, treasury securities, high-yield investments and the most incredible stable foreign exchange rates I have ever seen including a portfolio offering no fewer than five unique PNG currencies!
So, being the patriotic Papua New Guinean, I thought I’d put my hand up to invest K25,000 ($AU 10,000) into South Bougainville through IBOM under the pseudonym Mr. James Tsonaii, an expat Bougainvillean based in Australia.
What followed was a flurry of emails between myself and IBOM’s International Manager – a Mr. Solomon Kakoto. I wanted to see how far I could “U-Vistract” U-Vistract so to speak. Click on the following link to read the exchange of emails between International Bank of Me’ekamui (IBOM) and Mr. James Tsonaii.
It seemed that as the only international bank in the province (so IBOM claims itself to be) couldn’t transfer my make-believe K25,000 directly from my company’s account to my new corporate account in South Bougainville. Instead, two bank account numbers were provided with addresses in Sydney – one being ANZ, and the other being National Bank of Australia (NAB). Theoretically, my investment was to be deposited into these private bank accounts and then they would consequently be transferred to Siwai. Two further documents were emailed to me by IBOM to fill out: a Royal Registration Authority Application Form and a Customer Rekod Kad.
As a final ploy, I thought I’d ask IBOM to send me a Letter of Intent on their official letterhead for Mr. James Tsonaii to pass on to his senior partners as a gesture of good faith before final approval of the company’s investment was given . Find this below:
One thing worth noting about the above Letter of Intent is the date in the top right-hand corner. The “UV” stands for the U-Vistract Economic Calendar – where Amethyst is June. For more information about this cargo-cultic characteristic, click here.
What really is concerning about U-Vistract’s so-called International Bank of Me’ekamui is the fact that they are disguising themselves as the “bank for Bougainville reconstruction, restoration and rehabilitation” without any relevant substantiation. It makes one wonder just how many genuine international clients wanting to help Bougainville have fallen victim to the scam?