Marie Uini’s father established a well-respected and reputable freighting business in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne to offer a convenient and affordable service to Pacific Islands people who needed goods transported back to their home islands.
But allegations of his daughter Marie Uini’s gambling and lavish lifestyle have destroyed that good reputation.
Uini has been accused of pocketing thousands of dollars from hard working Cook Island families.
On Tuesday, Cook Islands News reported the story of Cook Islands family, the Harrys, who were left more than $10,000 out of pocket after hiring a 40-foot shipping container from Savaii Freights.
Because of their strong Christian faith, the Harrys trusted Uini to deliver the services that they had paid for, but unfortunately they didn’t request a receipt.
People were sympathetic and thanked the Harry family for sharing their experience to make others aware, but said it was a bitter reminder that when paying large sums of money upfront, to always ask for a receipt.
Since that story was published, comments have flooded in from other people who say they have lost money or property to company director Marie Uini.
Investigations with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission reveal Savaii Freights is a trading name for Polynesian Freights Pty Ltd 2018, a registered Australian company.
It is understood Uini’s father established the business and was the sole director up until his death. There have been no bad experiences reported under his directorship.
Because of his reputation, in November last year Maylene Koia and her father went into Savaii Freights in the suburb of Dandenong, to arrange to have two barrels of tools, valued at over $3000, shipped to Rarotonga in preparation for their return home to retire.
The Koia family chose to use Marie Uini’s service because a family friend of over 15 years, had referred them to Savaii Freights after using their freighting services with no problems.
Savaii Freights are within the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne and were the most convenient and accessible at the time, Koia said.
“We used her because it was by far the cheapest option and we knew a lot of people that had sent freight to the Cook Islands with no issues,” Koia said.
The Koias are yet to receive any word on when or if their tools will arrive.
A close former school friend of Uini’s daughter Victoria, Yasmin-garcelle Nikoro, said Uini was seen in gaming clubs around the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Others who knew her said she lived a lavish lifestyle.
As this story went to print, Koia told the Cook Islands News that she had managed to get in contact with Uini, but was yelled at and abused on the phone.
“Makes me even more determined to tell our story now, what makes her think she can treat us like this?” she said.
The Cook Islands News made numerous attempts to get in touch with Uini, through her daughter Victoria, known email addresses and on two separate Australian phone numbers, but all were unsuccessful.