Direct selling company Amway has sent Samir Behl, who heads the company's operations in over 65 countries as its regional president of Europe, Africa & India, to the country for damage control after its India CEO William Pinckney was refused bail and arrested for second time within a year on charges of violating laws protecting Indian consumers from ponzi schemesand investment frauds.
Behl, who is based out of Germany, flew down to India on Monday to meet finance ministry officials and Amway Business Operators (ABO), who he says are being harassed by the police in Hyderabad, amid a wave of consumer complaints against the direct seller and manufacturer of consumer goods.
We were in talks with the previous government for the amendment of The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 and they were quite open about it. However, we will be taking up the issue again with the new government. The act was put in place when there were no direct-selling companies in India, Behl told TOI.
He further added that new FIRs are popping up nearly every day. The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 empowers the police to seize, seal and arrest on the basis of a complaint. Around a year ago, Pinckney was taken into custody when an advocate filed a similar FIR against him in a Kerala court.
The FIRs are orchestrated, says Behl. All of them have been filed by advocates and not consumers who have suffered. And strangely, all the FIRs have been filed in South India and the words used in the complaints bear an uncanny resemblance to each other.
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