Citizens' Issues
Moneylife Foundation sends representation to PM, FM and RBI urging ban on MLM schemes

Moneylife Foundation urges the PM and others to completely ban MLM companies in India or bring these companies under the regulation of either RBI or SEBI. Moneylife was the first to expose the Speak Asia online survey scam on 8 October 2010

Moneylife Foundation has been writing against multi-level marketing schemes for some time now. Following the exposé by Moneylife on Speak Asia Online Pte Ltd and its multi-level marketing schemes, Moneylife Foundation has sent a representation to prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, finance secretary Sushama Nath and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor D Subbarao urging them to ban all MLM companies and their schemes in the country, or to bring all MLM companies under the regulation of either the RBI or the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), to stop them ensnaring gullible people.

According to Moneylife Foundation trustees, while the investor population in the country has fallen to 80 lakh, Speak Asia has managed to lure nearly 19 lakh people into its get-rich-quick scheme. The number accounts for a sizeable portion of India's investor population as well as internet users.

Speak Asia requires its members or 'panellists' to deposit Rs11,000 (though the rates vary, as we have seen in the countless posts by agents of Speak Asia on various sites) and then conduct surveys for which the company pays Rs500 per panellist per survey. A panellist gets an added commission if he recruits new members. There is no guarantee as to who will return the money if the company collapses.

It claimed to have conducted surveys for companies like ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Nestle and Bata, but all these institutions have denied their association with Speak Asia. At a press conference held in Mumbai on 16th May, Speak Asia formally apologised for using the names of these companies. But it also refused to name a single client.

Singapore-based Speak Asia was previously known as Haren Technology Pte Ltd and is owned by one Ms Harinder Kaur. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore has given it a non-compliant rating on the ACRA website for not submitting details of its AGM (annual general meeting), annual returns report and other documents.

Haren Technology itself has frequently changed its garb. The company doesn't have a registered address in India. Despite its claims of being the biggest online survey company in Asia, Speak Asia's reach is limited only to India and Bangladesh. It claims to be in existence since 2006, but the website was actually launched only on 21 January 2010.

Speak Asia's tall claims have been busted by Moneylife, and also exposed by The Economic Times, Star News and Aaj Tak. SpeakAsia's panellists have been arrested in Bangladesh. Lot of articles are available online on the fraudulent nature of the company.

Unlike several other countries, MLM schemes are not banned in India. Hence, schemes like City Limousine, Stockguru and GoldQuest could escape with millions. None of the financial watchdogs in India are responsible for monitoring such schemes, so there is every chance that Speak Asia and its clones like Ram Survey and FLC Online can get away after cheating millions of their savings.

Moneylife Foundation hopes that the government recognises the danger such schemes pose and bans them outright, and also put a regulator in charge to monitor such companies and their activities.

Click here to see the representation sent by Moneylife Foundation 

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COMMENTS

Nagesh KiniFCA

6 years ago

All MLM are cases of cheating plain and simple and there is no reason why they cannot be prosecuted under S.420 suo moto by the police when both the numbers and values run into millions
When our 'honest PM' and 'intellectually arrogant' FM have their hands full tackling larger 'public issues' MLMs are a flea bite - 'you pay for your greed and stew in your own juices!' they'd say.

riya

6 years ago

Bangalore based Unipay2U (Unigroup: Unipay2U, Visarev (Unigateway2U, Unigold2U) - Scam of Rs. 35,000 Crores approximately, might be even more than that, so surprise to see moneylife hasn't given any information regarding that company.
Owner: James @ Mugu (Actual Name: Mugunthan Gnanam / Gangam) a malaysian resident now absconded, Govt. not taking any action.
Also one company called Way2Life (WealthLine), Chennai based has looted Rs. 5,000 - 10,000 Crores, and vanished,
Owner: Chithara Kumar, tamilian now believe to be residing in Canada along with his family.
I'm having just a small list of companies around 276 MLM companies which are operating in India which all has MCA, ROC registration, even ISO also, all have cheated & ran away and still companies keep on coming & keep on closing. what hell this govt. is doing i can't understand? which country we are living in? I don't think in no other country this kind of scam would have happened except india..!
Compare to all other scams even Speakasia's, other companies scams are too big; i will ask moneylife to turn your attention towards other companies also, speakasia is having consumer power which i have not seen in any other company in my life, let us see how govt. handles this company panelists. This number is too big, govt. has to do something for them. Rest of the companies in the market collects money in the name of investment & also watching advertisements & doing surveys for which you are paid they tells.. huh, until what time they'll run the show! one day they are closing & running away na, why govt. is not taking any step remains a big question??

govindan

6 years ago

MLM Rackets cannot hold meetings in Hotels, Resorts, convention Centers

Newspaper Report June 13, 2011

Police warns Hotels, Resorts and Convention centers against allowing money chain companies to hold meetings in their premises. If anyone found flouting the order, they will be booked under Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.

REPLY

govindan

In Reply to govindan 6 years ago

NANO EXCEL MLM DIRECTOR ARRESTED

Bangalore:

NANO EXCEL Director Mr. Patrcik Thomas is in Jail.

He was arrested by Ulsoor Police and was remanded to Custody by the court.

govindan

6 years ago

News Report (Manorama) June 11, 2011 :

CRIMINAL Complaint against MLM Company UNIPAY2U / visarev

20 investors who were duped by a Malaysian based MLM company UNIPAY2U filed criminal complaint before the City Police Commissioner, Thrissur.

According to the reports, 27 investors went to Malaysia to discuss the matter directly with the Company but they could never meet the Managing Director. However, the officials of the company assured them that they would get back their money before March 31, 2011. Since they did not receive back the money they went to their Bangalore office but could find the office "CLOSED".

Arun Singer

6 years ago

Dear All,

First:First of all get the facts properly. SA never said they are selling surveys. The money being paid is for the opinion.

Second: The money collected is not for membership its for the subscription of E-Zine Magazine for a period of one year which is avl in every panel ID. This E-zine is the product here.


Third: Not necc every company is bad. As someone pointed out it is for the betterment of everyone these MLM companies can be brought under RBI or SEBI regulations.

Fifth: MLM is a great oppurtunity, only few can be sucessful as it requires sales and marketing skills. IN western countries MLM is most successful.

IM not here to argue....I only wanted to say that dont let oppurtunities go away....If any one wants to discuss with me plz call me @ 9982249004

vinay kumar

6 years ago

Times of India - ‎May 27, 2011‎
LUCKNOW: The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court directed the additional solicitor general of India to obtain instructions from the Centre to frame guidelines and monitoring mechanism on the operation of Speak Asia Online Private Limited. ...

surender

6 years ago

I am unable to understand one thing that till now, company is paying everything which it promised. No One complainted towards that they did not get money or something else. Then How we can say it as a scam.

REPLY

dkjain

In Reply to surender 6 years ago

First thing - PROMISES ARE MEANT FOR BREAK.
Second thing -Bakre ko ID ke pahle khila-pila kar mota-tagda kiya jate, usey kya pata ki wo ek din halal hoga. Woh koi SCAM-VScam ki complain nahi karta. Isi tarah Jab ye Scheme bhi iske satuaration point ka target achieve kar legi, us din .....baley baley ho jayega galey galey (hi mera paisa gaya, gaya). Ab aap hi sochiye ke Scam start kaise hota hei? Scam ho jane ke baad hi maloom padta hei ki woh SCAM tha.

nagesh kini

6 years ago

rohan guptaji,
jara jabaan sambalke bolo.
apne mana hai ki ap ko bewakoof banaya gaya. galli kyo bakte ho?
proves
duniya jukti hai jukanewalla chahiye

pushkar rawat

6 years ago

companies like speakasia are frauds.They only lure the people to become get rich quick and fools them.
These companies should be banned in india.

Dkjain

6 years ago

Summarising all comments, the moot question here is- If SpeakAsia is genuine company, Why they are charging 11000/- to become member. If survey is their sole object then to do survey one should be literate, english known, major age and have access to online computer. those should be main criteria and not amount of 11,000/-. Hight of stupidity of those people who become member is is that they forget they are giving commission if one make more and more member, which means more and more 11,000/- and out of those 11,000/- speakAsia is paying commision (khud ki juti kud ke sir). I suggest people to be alert and cautiost of such scheme, whose only object is cheat people once scheme has collected huge amount and then vanish. just imagine as of now if we assume 15 lac member multiply by 11,000/- per person i.e. equal to 1650 crore already collected. and lastly from where they are getting survey, which companies are appointing speakAsia to do survey, why SpeakAsia is not registered in India, what an SpeakAsia member have legal remedy, if compnaies go air...???

REPLY

vinay kumar

In Reply to Dkjain 6 years ago

Why you are charging salary against you services/time given/higher price on goods sold from your shop/industry. OYE Bewakoof understand.

Dkjain

In Reply to vinay kumar 6 years ago

Your remark added to comments shows your ability in reading & understanding the subject matter, though as you being claimed elsewhere that you spent whole life in court in reading judgement , but do my dear friend was able to grasp ratio decidendi made in those judgemnent, otherwise, it was not expected from person of legal fraternity like you to make comment like- OYE Bewakoof . For your kind information Advocate for SpeakAsia has already discontinued his services once he came to realize SA working modus- operandi and no more fighting for his client SpeakAsia. All bank accounts of SA are already freezed. Let Wisdom prevail.

GOVINDAN

6 years ago

Speak Asia, Nano Excel, Tycoon International, Visarev & Unipay2u – biggest scam is on its way

GOVINDAN

6 years ago

Supreme Court says these type of companies are illegal.
[Supreme Court of India in KURIACHAN CHACKO AND OTHERS Versus STATE OF KERALA (2008)8 SCC 708]

REPLY

vinay kumar

In Reply to GOVINDAN 6 years ago

Bhai GOVINDAN read ten times this ruling, it can go against SPEAKASIA, dear I spent my whole life in courts, i go through complete judgement.

govindan

In Reply to vinay kumar 6 years ago

Ha ha........ "tongue never lies"

vinay kumar

In Reply to vinay kumar 6 years ago

It can not go against SAOL . NOT missing in my first reply

govindan

In Reply to vinay kumar 6 years ago

Why?

akshay

6 years ago

thats nice pm ji ko clean cheet dene k liye

nilay ningh

6 years ago

do not show your views that any company can run dont work on probability theory indian media personals are full of illitrate they need talent every news that you show aur any media are just baseless do some heavy reporting not chep reporting

nilay ningh

6 years ago

do you really do any research on anyones business model it is not mlm speakasia is a totally a revolution this model will change the way of business and not ambani and birla can earn everyone should earn infact government should try these schemes and all of the reporters in any news channel plz recruit some knowledgable person

REPLY

Suresh

In Reply to nilay ningh 6 years ago

SpeakAsia is definitely an MLM case and a classic copycat case. Maybe be Nilay Singh is a member of SpeakAsia and hence the defender. Asking government to ban MLM is of no use since all their families are involved in one MLM business or the other and there are so many in India. Let the Blind Leading the Blind continue. Ultimately, the poor must get poorer and the rich must get richer. Thats the MLM result.

HC asks CCI to give copy of order to NSE within a week

The court was hearing a petition filed by NSE seeking directions to the competition watchdog to provide full details and reasons behind the notice which asked as to why penalty should not be imposed on it for allegedly abusing its dominant position

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today asked the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to give a copy of its order to the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on the basis of which a show-cause notice for penalty was issued to the bourse for allegedly abusing its dominant position, reports PTI.

"The CCI has to furnish the petitioner any order forming the basis of penalty show-cause notice. On principle of natural justice CCI is directed to furnish a copy of order dated 29th April within one week," justice S Muralidhar said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by NSE seeking directions to the competition watchdog to provide full details and reasons behind the notice which asked as to why penalty should not be imposed on it for allegedly abusing its dominant position.

The CCI notice followed its internal investigations after complaint filed by NSE's rival in currency derivative market, Multi Commodities Exchange Stock Exchange (MCX-SX).

The complaint had alleged that NSE substantially reduced transaction fees to eliminate competition and discourage other entities from entering the market.

NSE had moved the high court contending that the notice did not give reasons as to how CCI reached the conclusion of penalty.

After hearing counsels for NSE, CCI and MCX-SX the bench said, "Any material which is going to be used against him (NSE) has to be given to him. It is simple principle of natural justice.

"In arriving to the penalty show-cause notice you had some order. What is the problem? Give NSE a copy of that," the judge said.

CCI's issued the penalty show cause notice after its director general investigation found prima facie that NSE allegedly violated the Competition Act, specifically section 4, which relates to "abuse of dominant position".

CCI had then asked NSE to show cause as to why a penalty should not be imposed on it for unfair trade practices in connection with currency derivatives trading.

It had sent the notice recently to NSE before deciding on the quantum of fine to be imposed on the bourse.

MCX-SX had alleged in its complaint to CCI that NSE used its dominant position and original monopoly in equity, F&O (Future and Options) and WDM (Wholesale Debt Market) markets to protect its position in the currency derivative (CD) market.

Currency futures trading started on the NSE on 29 August 2008, and at the MCX-SX on 7 October 2008.

While MCX-SX is allowed to trade only in currency derivatives, NSE has presence in all major financial trading segments.

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Share prices will continue to drift lower: Wednesday Closing Report

Nifty headed for the first support of 5,340, subject to a minor rally

The market opened with small gains taking cues from the Asian bourses which were up in morning trade. The Sensex opened 40 points higher at 18,177 and the Nifty added nine points to its previous close to resume trade at 5,448. The indices rose to their intra-day highs in initial trade, with the Sensex at 18,218 and the Nifty at 5,461. The market could not retain the gains and hovered near the neutral line in the absence of any triggers. A bout of selling in frontline stocks around noon pushed the indices lower.

The oil & gas sector was the top loser, following reports of a directive from the oil ministry asking Reliance Industries to drill two wells in the KG-D6 block by next month and another nine by the end of the fiscal, to raise gas output. Higher crude prices also weighed on the sector.

The market touched the day's low in noon trade, with the Sensex losing 116 points to 18,021 and the Nifty dropping 38 points to 5,401. Recovery attempts in the post-noon session were shot down by institutional sellers, which ensured that the indices stayed range-bound in the negative. The market restricted its losses today, but still ended in the red for the third straight day. The Sensex closed 51 points down at 18,086 and the Nifty shed 18 points to settle at 5,421. The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange was 425:968.

The Nifty fell below its first support of 5,450 today. The fall is acquiring strength now and the next support to watch is 5,340.

The broader markets took a bigger hit today as the BSE Mid-cap index ended 0.61% lower and the BSE Small-cap index declined 0.80%.

The BSE Oil & Gas index (down 1.88%) continued to languish as the top sectoral loser. Other losers were BSE PSU (down 1.77%), BSE Healthcare (down 1.40%), BSE Auto (down 0.98%) and BSE Realty (down 0.92%). The BSE IT (up 0.24%), BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.20%) and BSE TECk (up 0.12%) were gainers.

Among Sensex stocks, HDFC (up 2.34%), Hero Honda (up 1.93%), Maruti Suzuki (up 1.75%), Wipro (up 1.71%) and Tata Power (up 1.50%) were the top performers. Reliance Infrastructure (down 4.11%), Tata Motors (down 3.36%), Reliance Communications (down 3.31%), SBI (down 2.40%) and Jaiprakash Associates (down 2.23%) were the losers on the index.

The government has decided to include natural gas and fertilisers in the list of core sector infrastructure industries, a move that will help capture the performance of the economy in a better manner.

Currently, the government evaluates the performance of six key sectors-crude oil, petroleum refinery, cement, electricity, finished steel and coal-on a monthly basis. The new series, which will have data for eight key sectors, would be released on 10th June.

Markets in Asia closed higher on a weak dollar and strengthening of commodity prices. Japanese stocks advanced on the back of banks and utilities.  Mizuho Financial Group Inc gained 3.2% in Tokyo, on reports that it plans to merge its retail and corporate banks. Cnooc, China's biggest offshore oil producer, gained 2.2% in Hong Kong, while PetroChina Co climbed 1.7% as crude futures rose as much as 1.1% from a three-month low in New York today.

Besides, China's annual housing inflation slowed slightly in April with prices rising 4.3%, a further sign that forceful policy tightening is helping to cool exuberant price rises.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.70%, the Hang Seng rose 0.48%, the Jakarta Composite surged 1.08%, the KLSE Composite was up 0.33%, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.99%, the Straits Times added 0.15%, the Seoul Composite jumped 1.59% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.68% higher.

Back home, institutional investors were net sellers of equities on Tuesday. Foreign institutional investors offloaded Rs487.20 crore and domestic institutional investors pulled out stocks worth Rs570.29 crore.

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