Wanted conman nabbed

By Deidre Tautua ,

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TO BE SENTENCED NEXT WEEK: Fata Fareti Fiti.

TO BE SENTENCED NEXT WEEK: Fata Fareti Fiti.

A conman accused of fooling people into giving him money over a land scam is set to be sentenced on 29 April 2017. 

Fata Fareti Fiti appeared before Judge Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma this week.

He is represented by lawyer, Leota Tima Le’avai while Khantam Stanley is representing the prosecution.

Judge Fepulea’i adjourned the matter to finalise some of the details. 

 “I have their written reports however it covers only three charges against you so now I have given them time to write a report that will state all 30 charges against you.”

Fiti is facing charges of obtaining by deception and theft.

Last year Fiti was on the most wanted list after he was accused of conning money from unsuspecting members of the public.

Police Spokesperson Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu said Fiti has a history of conning people and he was previously convicted for fraud and theft.

His latest offenses came to light when a mother, Taupauape Rosa Latulipe, filed a complaint with the Police. Fiti had apparently fooled her over the promise of land at Vaitoloa.

“This person is going around with documents about land getting people to buy this land,” she said. “Be very careful, don’t fall for it. This person is a con. I don’t want what has happened to me to happen to anyone else too.”

After reading a story titled “Alleged conman alert” on the front page of the Sunday Samoan, Eti Sapolu, of Fa’atoia and Lalovaea contacted the Samoa Observer to tell the story of how he lost $10,000 to the same man.

“I wanted to come and support what this mother said in the paper to let the public know that this is not a joke and that this man Faleti is not a good person,” he said.  “This happened to me too and I lost $10,000 tala.”

Asked how he came to know the alleged conman, Mr. Sapolu said Fiti used to stay with him in Faatoia back in 2014.

“My sister went to Siumu one day and on their way back, this man stopped their car asking for help,” he said.

“My sister helped him but only to find out that he (Faleti) is banned from the village. We don’t know why. He asked us for help and so I gave him a place to stay and he stayed with us for about four months until he fooled me.

“One day he (Faleti) said it’s their family faalavelave and he needed $5,000tala.

“In exchange he will let me buy 5 acres of land at Vaitoloa so this $5,000 will be the starting payment for the land.

“I didn’t trust him at first until he showed me all the documents of the land and proof that it belongs to him. So I thought why not, this seems like a pretty good deal to me.”

Days later, Mr. Sapolu said Faleti asked him for another $5,000. He insisted there was another buyer interested in the land and offering more than what Mr. Sapolu is giving.

 “I gave him what he asked for,” Mr. Sapolu said. “Long story short, after that last conversation with him, I didn’t hear from him again.

 “So I did some research and found out that this land that Faleti is referring to is customary land and I know that customary land cannot be sold.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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