Cryptocurrencies are Ponzi schemes and should be banned: MCA Official
Terming cryptocurrencies as ponzi schemes, Anurag Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, on Friday said such virtual currencies should be banned.
 
He said official indecision so far on the virtual currency has harmed the investors.
 
"When it comes to investor protection, as IEPF (Investor Education and Protection Fund) authority, we have to take a stand against the ponzi schemes. We are taking a stand and we think cryptocurrency is a ponzi scheme and it should be banned," said Agarwal, who is also the CEO of IEPF.
 
"This is the view of the IEPF authority and we want the government to take a stand on it. By not taking a decision, we are harming the investors. We have to move very swiftly. This is the view of IEPF authority," he added.
 
Although both the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have warned against the use of the virtual currency time and again, both RBI and the Centre are yet to come up with definite guidelines on the same.
 
IEPF is a body under the Corporate Affairs Ministry set up with an aim to facilitate refund of shares, unclaimed dividends and matured debentures to investors and promote awareness among them.
 
The government had last year also formed a panel headed by Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg to finalise a report on draft regulations on cryptocurrencies, but the report is yet to be finalised and made public.
 
In 2017, the finance ministry said that virtual currencies are neither currencies nor coins and are not authorised by the RBI and the government as a medium of exchange and they do not have any regulatory permission or protection in India. The Finance Ministry had warned of ponzi scheme like risks in cryptocurrencies.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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    COMMENTS

    Arun Deshpande

    3 weeks ago

    PACL

    QNet Scam: Cyberabad Police Issue Notices to Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Boman Irani, Vivek Oberoi & Yuvraj Singh Among 500 Others
    Cyberabad Police has issued notices to about 500 people including several top celebrities from Bollywood in the multi-crore QNet multi-level marketing (MLM) scam.
     
    Those issued notices include Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Boman Irani, Vivek Oberoi, Pooja Hegde and Telugu actor Allu Sirish and cricketer Yuvraj Singh. 
     
     
    The Cyberabad Police has asked these people to appear before its economic offences wing (EOW) to explain their association with Hong Kong-based QNet and Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, which are facing the charges of cheating.
     
    These companies have allegedly duped over 20 lakh investors. The volume of cheating through illegal money circulation scheme is estimated about Rs20,000 crore.
     
     
    The celebrities, who have been issued notices, allegedly endorsed and promoted the companies involved. Some of them also worked as their brand ambassadors.
     
    Promoters, shareholders, directors and CEOs of the companies were among those served notice under Section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), asking them to appear before EOW of Cyberabad Police Commissionerate, one of the three police commissionerates covering Hyderabad, Secunderabad, information technology hub Cyberabad and surroundings.
     
    Sources said if the persons served notice fail to appear, they may face legal action.
     
    QNet, in a statement, however has said it does not have any brand association with those who have been issued notices by the police.
     
    Cyberabad police had received complaints against the celebrities from many victims. They allegedly received remuneration from the companies for creating the brand image.
     
    According to police, several criminal cases were filed against Vihaan Direct Selling, Bengaluru for cheating more than three lakh persons across the country by floating illegal money circulation scheme. The police have also arrested Dilip Raj Pukkela, director of Vihaan Direct Selling and some agents including Chandan Kumar Choudary, and Athul Kumar. While Mr Pukkela was arrested from Chennai, Mr Choudary and Mr Kumar were picked up from Jamshedpur and Madhapur in Patana district, respectively. 
     
     
    Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar had earlier said Telangana High Court had not given any stay orders on the investigation of criminal cases filed against Vihaan. He also clarified that there is no bar for registering of fresh cases against QNet or Vihaan Direct Selling.
     
    In January this year, Cyberabad Police had arrested 58 members of the MLM in fraud and cheating cases worth Rs1,000 crore. "The QNet and Vihaan business model is a simple pyramid scheme in which the early entrants earn money and as the number of IR increases, finding more IRs (new comers) to join becomes difficult or impossible. IRs that joins late does not earn enough to cover their first outlay and the model collapses. It works as a binary scheme. Down the line, the number of persons to be joined becomes difficult or impossible. The scheme collapses at a point of time," the Cyberabad police commissioner had said. (Read: QNet: Cyberabad Police Arrests 58 Members of the MLM in Fraud and Cheating Cases Worth Rs1,000 Crore)  
     
    On 18 May 2016, Gurupreet Singh Anand, the original complainant in the QNet MLM scam had demanded a detailed probe of the role played by Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Boman Irani and Pooja Hegde in promoting the company. 
     
     
    "As per the reports of the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), activities of the QI group have become a threat to the nation's security and hence the involvement of the big names who are directly or indirectly helping this company in its anti-national acts of money laundering cannot be ignored any longer as otherwise the Indian economy will be severely crippled," he had said while addressing the press in Mumbai. (Read: QNet: Probe role of Bollywood stars in promoting the MLM, demands complainant)
     
     
    Last year in April, QNet had organised its V-Malaysia, where Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor shared the stage with Pathman Senathirajah, an accused and absconder in cases registered in India. The EOW of Mumbai Police also had issued a look out notice against Mr Pathman. 
     
    Mr Kapoor has been a regular since past few years at V-Con organised by QNet. In 2016 too he was there on V-Con and shared the stage with Mr Pathman and Vijay Eswaran, the chief of QNet and absconder in several cases filed against the MLM in India.
     
     
    During the V-Con 2016, QNet says, besides Mr Kapoor, other Bollywood actors such as Jackie Shroff and Vivek Oberoi “went up on the V-Con stage in 2016 to share how they took the big leap to be where they are today.”
     
     
    Commenting on the presence of Bollywood celebrities at V-Con, Zaheer K Merchant, director for corporate affairs at QNet, had told Moneylife that, “...they were only invited speakers at our events. You may contact their respective offices for further comments.” (Read: QNet Cancels V-Con Dubai Leaving Thousands of Agents in Soup)
     
     There are several court cases and probe going on against QNet, its franchisee Vihaan and many people associated with the MLM scheme. In fact, three year ago, the Bombay High Court, in its judgement has observed "the deceit and fraud is camouflaged under the name of e-marketing and business."
     
    While rejecting anticipatory bail applications of five accused in the multi-crore QNet scam, Justice Mridula Bhatkar, in a hard-hitting order on 6 May 2016, had said, "The motto of the company 'sell more, earn more' appears very attractive and innocuous. However, this motto is fully camouflaged. The company stands on a basic statement that people can be fooled. Thus, the true motto is 'sell more earn more' by fooling people. In fact, it is a chain where a person is fooled and then he is trained to fool others to earn money. For that purpose, workshops are conducted where study and business material is provided with a jugglery of words, promises and dreams. Thus, the deceit and fraud is camouflaged under the name of e-­marketing and business." 
     
    "The claim that the wellness products, i.e., Biodisk and Chi Pendent are medicinal and spiritual products, are after all, a matter of faith. However, the applicants/ accused have launched these wellness products with ulterior motive and with correct judgment of vulnerability of the people. The holiday packages, which were sold or offered, without any choice left to the buyers. The entire business was Internet based and, therefore, the persons who are responsible, i.e., the top brass, i.e., the applicants/ accused, were not approachable to the persons who were aggrieved. The nature of the business was knitted in the interest of the directors and shareholders in such a manner that the persons who are at the lower level of the pyramid cannot get any access to put up their grievances. The manner in which the persons were contacted, incentives offered, the workshops were conducted, are best examples of inducement," Justice Bhatkar had remarked. (Read: QNet: “It is a chain where a person is fooled and then he is trained to fool others to earn money” says Bombay HC order)
     
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    jaideep shirali

    2 months ago

    Till recently, the company Q Net was advertising on leading channels on national television, how were they allowed to do so ? Is the advertising standards board equally complicit, because there have been several charges against Q Net for many years ? I had brought this to the attention of the advertising standards board, they first said they would look into it and later they asked me to send details of the advertisements. In this digital age, how difficult was it for the advertising board to get these details and atleast stop QNet ads, if they wanted to ?

    Suketu Shah

    6 months ago

    "We celebs wl do anything for money"

    AAR

    6 months ago

    People took risk for high returns. If they had made more money, will they file case or will they share it with Government? Now they lost money and they are crying foul. Why should Government intervene?

    Government should allow failed Banks, Companies and People to go Bankrupt. That would be a warning to others.

    Cabinet clears amendments to strengthen law banning illicit deposit schemes
    Amid a raging controversy over chit fund scams, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to amend a law to enable banning unregulated deposit schemes with deterrent punishment and fines in a bid to protect small investors.
     
    The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to amend Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018 accepting recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee that went into the provisions of the Bill.
     
    Briefing the media, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said any person running such deposit schemes without registration would attract penal provisions of the law. Advertisements of such unregistered schemes and brand ambassadors of such schemes would also be covered in this measure.
     
    "The Bill contains a substantive clause which bans deposit takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any unregulated deposit schemes.
     
    "The Bill creates three types of offences, -- running of unregulated deposits schemes, fraudulent default in regulated deposit schemes and wrongful inducement in relation to unregulated deposit schemes. The Bill provides for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as deterrent," Prasad said.
     
    Punishments and penalties under the law will be meted out for offences committed after the law has been passed. 
     
    The decision to amend the law comes amid a storm over investigations in the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund schemes that rocked West Bengal and Odisha among other states and triggered a political war between the TMC government and the Modi government at the Centre. 
     
    Prasad said the major victims of the chit fund schemes are poor people who invest in small sums.
     
    "In the last four years, CBI has lodged 166 cases of multi-crore chit fund scams since 2015 till November 30, 2018. Maximum cases have been in lodged in West Bengal followed by Odisha. All these cases have origin before the Modi government came to power," he said.
     
    The Cabinet also decided to maintain an online database of regulated deposit schemes where people can deposit their money.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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