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Samoan community accusing Miss Samoa Victoria organisers of alleged fraud

01 August 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

A Samoan community in Melbourne is taking action against Miss Samoa Victoria's organisers, over allegations of fraud.

The event was held on Saturday night at Melbourne's Grand Star venue.

A woman by the name of Panda Vls says the pageant director, Pulotu Canada McCarthy, purposely allowed for overbooking which left many of the audience without the seats they had paid for.

Panda says they were told to take a seat on the side, while organisers arranged for more seating, which didn't happen. 

"It was unorganised, to rock up and not get what you paid for is disgusting. That's not the kind of behaviour to represent our Melbourne community," she says. "This is money laundering. It's fraud.

"A lot of them had flown in from Queensland, New South Wales, Newcastle and New Zealand," she says. "They paid for their tickets, accommodation and their airfares and they were really upset."

Pulotu admits they had problems on the night, which they attended to accordingly. 

"We had a bit of a problem with our doors, where our security and our people lost control of the doors so some people went in for free and took those seats."

He says some people were fully refunded at the start and left before the show. 

"Some people watched the whole show and decided to ask for a full refund," he says. "We refunded $50 to a lot of those people and some were still demanding full refund, which I felt was a bit unfair, but alcohol played a factor in not wanting to negotiate."

Pulotu says they called the Police to help resolve the tension.

A few of the Miss Samoa Victoria 2017 contestants with Pulotu Canada McCarthy (far right). Photo/ Facebook: Miss Samoa Victoria Beauty Pageant. 

Meanwhile Panda says only seven people received full refunds and herself and others, didn't receive anything.

"He only refunded seven people because they were going to give him a hiding before the pageant," she says. "He was forced to refund them because he didn't want to get a hiding."

She says she's not worried about getting any money back, but wants to prevent this from happening to other people.

"This is not the way we portray the Samoan community at all. We come from a culture full of respect and have a lot of pride," she says. "We're very talented but to use it to abuse and use our own culture, that's not on."

A Facebook page has been made with over 400 members, for people to voice their complaints against the Miss Samoa Victoria organisers.

Tags: Miss Samoa Victoria, Pulotu Canada McCarthy, Melbourne,