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Report: High School Band Accuses Hawaii Tour Operator of Losing $267,500 Payment

April 27, 2012

KITV4 reports that Hawaii-based tour operator Performing Hawaii Tours has allegedly lost $267,500 the company received from Southside High School in Fort Smith, Ark. The school had paid the money to Performing Hawaii Tours to arrange a summer trip to the Pan-Pacific Festival in Waikiki.

The band’s Assistant Director Sean Carrier provided KITV4 with an email allegedly from Ope Saaga, the tour company’s owner, which said, “I made some terrible decision [sic] with the money and am now in the midst of trying to sell every asset I have in Samoa to pay the group back. It will be a slow process so I beg of your patience as my number one priority (is) to get every cent I owe to the group."

Pan-Pacific Festival Director Eric Ishizuka said to KITV4 that Saaga had not registered the band for any of the festival’s events.

“He never contacted us,” Ishizuka said to KITV4. “We never recommend travel agents to groups who take part.”

School officials have contacted the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice.

Read KITV4’s story here and visit

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