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 Evangelist Scammer in New Zealand?

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Joined: 24 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This from today's New Zealand Herald (widest distributed newspaper in the country - )

5:00AM Wednesday July 18, 2007
By Derek Cheng

An Auckland evangelist accused of being a Nigerian scammer is facing fresh allegations that he conned New Zealanders out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Current affairs show 60 Minutes this week accused Kawana Morehu, 71, of ripping people off on both sides of the Tasman.

The self-proclaimed "international evangelist" was accused of claiming to be a contractor for the Nigerian Government to lure investors into putting up money for elaborate projects. He also targeted Christians for large donations for his missionary work, the show claimed.

Fresh details of shady deals with New Zealanders emerged yesterday, with one man claiming he gave Mr Morehu and his associates $55,000 over about three years - but nothing has come of it.

The man, who did not want be named because he was ashamed of buying into the deal, said the loss had ruined him financially and his business did not survive.

"He was promising that he needed money to get his oil contracts in Nigeria transferred into his bank. I believed him," the man said.

"My family say I should have seen it coming, and they don't blame him, they blame me. I thought I'd pursue it and it would be okay. That's the embarrassing part."

Mr Morehu told the Herald yesterday his missionary work and investment interests were legitimate, and investors could still expect returns on their investments.

He stood by his claim that he had been contracted by the Nigerian Government, saying he did "administration and setting up the contract" in the 1980s during the construction of a gas pipeline.

He declined to provide a copy of the contract, citing confidentiality.

He said he had six permanent investors in New Zealand, who had put about $300,000 over the past decade into "trading schemes" through his trust, the Kawana Morehu International Foundation.

He would not elaborate on the scheme or who ran it. Investors could expect returns of between 20 per cent and 400 per cent.

But a former associate, who did not want to be named, said he had no idea what happened to $10,000 he had put into the trust.

"As far as I know, it went to Nigeria," the man said.

"[Mr Morehu] goes all around the world on other people's money."

The scams included luring developers, he said.

"He comes up and says, 'I can help you and you've got to give me such and such, and I'll come up with such and such', but I haven't seen it come to closure anywhere yet."

60 Minutes featured three Australian women who say they gave Mr Morehu thousands of dollars, but Mr Morehu said he intended to repay them with interest.

He said the donations were for "the Lord's work", and the nature of the donation may have been misunderstood.

"Any Christian that gives for the Lord's work, they have to define it precisely, because the technology or administration is not like the old days when you gave out of love," he said.

"Today has no love or charity behind it at all. That's the problem with Christians giving today.

"If you're going to give money to a charity, give it with an open heart and stop grumbling about your money. If you're giving it to a charity, don't ask questions." Mr Morehu has been the subject of several investigations from the consumer programme Fair Go, and has been involved in several deals that have stirred media interest.

He cancelled seminars about a $40 billion investment scheme in South Taranaki in 2000 after police warned investors to be wary.

He also hit headlines when he withdrew from real estate deals in Mt Maunganui in 2001 after talk of a $36 million fund.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry, Yrubraj, you did post this news story first, but as there are more replies on the other topic about it, I lock this one, other topic hre:

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