The Ministry of Trade has identified that the Ebay scam was operated locally by a company registered as Online Trading Private Limited.
Minister Manoa Kamikamica revealed that the directors of the company are Fijians.
Kamikamica says EbayShop was never a registered business in Fiji, and the original Ebay E-Commerce company also confirmed that they have no affiliation with the so-called EbayShop in Fiji and there is no foreign directorship in the company.
Kamikamica adds that they have also identified around 104 Ebay agents around the country.
He says that a multi-agency taskforce has been formed to investigate the matter.
It includes the Ministry of Trade, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Consumer Council of Fiji, the Fiji Police Force, the Online Safety Commission, and the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs.
He says this is done not only to gather information and take people to task but also to create stronger awareness and advocacy against scammers.
Kamikamica adds that at this stage the money lost to the scams cannot be recovered.
“At this stage, I regret to informed that the ability to recover will be limited, next to impossible unfortunately for those who are victim to the scams but we hope that through our investigations we can at least try and make an attempt to actually recover some of the money that been lost.”
Meanwhile, the Consumer Council of Fiji has received a total of 182 complaints from Ebay investors valued at $357,000, while the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has received a total of 126 complaints valued at $352,000.
Kamikamica stresses that the number is expected to increase, and on average, complainants have lost around $2,000 to $2,800 to the EbayShop scam.
More information is expected to be released as the investigation continues.