SNPF Chairman says Chinese Businessman with Loan Arrears of Close to $2 Million Tala tried to Bribe the CEO

    An envelope containing $4,000 tala cash was dropped onto the CEOs desk by the Chinese businessman.


    There is a Chinese businessman who has failed to make his loan repayments at the Samoa National Provident Fund, building up an arrears of close to $2 million tala in the past year.

    The Chairman of SNPF, Papalii Panoa Moala, in a 5-part interview with Talamua Media, has spoken openly about issues within Samoa’s compulsory saving fund.

    On Saturday morning ET Live highlighted parts of episode 4, where the Chairman shares that a Chinese national was given a $7 million tala loan to secure a hotel purchase.

    ET Live highlights the issue on Saturday 30 March 2024.

    The Chinese businessman had submitted a tender for $7 million tala to purchase a hotel, and according to Papalii, he didn’t have any funds of his own.

    Instead of having his own funds to secure his tender, the SNPF loaned him the $7 million tala.

    The same Chinese national had already been given a loan of $3 million tala by SNPF, taking his total debt to $10 mil which, according to Papalii, he is not showing any commitment to pay.

    Apulu Lance Apelu of Talamua has published a 5 part interview series with Papalii Panoa Tavita Moala.

    Papalii Panoa said a cover-up within SNPF had hidden the Chinese businessman’s arrears, and for over 12 months, there were no efforts to follow up on the debt.

    When the newly appointed CEO of SNPF, Lemalu Selesitina, wrote to the debtor, he came into her office and dropped an envelope on her desk as he left.

    When Lemalu had discovered $4,000 tala inside the envelope, she called him to return the money, but he insisted she keep it.

    The CEO then receipted the $4,000 tala into the Chinese businessman’s arrears which at the time, sat at around $1.8 million tala according to Papalii.

    A payment of $50,000 tala was then made towards the arrears, however, the cheque provided by the Chinese businessman bounced.

    Papalii says SNPF has since put an Immigration Stop Notice on the Chinese national. This was triggered when his Samoan wife contacted the Chairman to say her husband had another wife, and was planning to leave the country.

    Suitcases! New arrivals at SOS Available at Togafuafua and Salelologa branches.

    The Samoa National Provident Fund has come under public scrutiny since a team of Managers wrote to the Minister, complaining about the Chairman.

    The Managers’ letter triggered an investigation by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Enterprises. The Chairman says he has been cleared of any wrongdoing. The staff, however, are being reprimanded and charged for breaching protocols and processes.