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Australia: God fails to kick in for Tongan church…

January 28, 2012

…and doesn’t do much for the financial education of his flock, either.

Want to make 72 per cent annual interest? Want to know where you can find some really gullible people? Look no further…


…[T]he grand Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in Australia still stands in an estate of factories and warehouses near Rooty Hill in Sydney but the pride of the Polynesian community is cloaked in shame and debt.

Owing $21 million, the Methodist church is set to collapse amid a confusion of parties, including 20,000 Tongans, Westpac and a Bankstown paint company with a sideline in short-term finance.

The church went into voluntary administration this month and into receivership this week, with the debt secured against church properties around the country.

The bulk of it – $18 million – is split between Westpac and an industrial paint business, Phoenix Lacquers & Paints, which lent the church $950,000 less than four years ago.

When the loan was not repaid after six months, during which time the interest rate was 5 per cent a month, a penalty was imposed and the interest rate increased to 6 per cent – or 72 per cent a year, the paint company said. The debt has now snowballed to more than $9 million….

Mr Lee denied the 72 per cent annual interest rate was predatory. He said this week he was willing to accept $1.4 million if the church could restructure its debt.

”They understood that the interest rate was high but they entered into it because they needed to have the church finished,” he said.

One Comment
  1. One not so gullible tongan permalink

    It is about time that the truth has been revealed! This minister sione pinomi should be charged with fraud for deliberately misleading faithful members of the free wesleyan church. I have watched my family give so much to the church (basically their whole pay at times) believing that this man would pay off the church debt. Sione pinomi is well known for travelling the whole world, attending lavish dinners and starting multiple business adventures. All at the expense of the hard working people at this church. So why has he finally spoken up? To get people to feel sorry for him or to prevent a massive backlash from the tongan community! Finally the cat is out of the bag now my family can stop wasting their bloody money on this idiot who did whatever he pleased with the churchs money! Maybe now my family can finally afford to pay their own houae mortgages off and hopefully wake up and smell the coffee!

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