ED attaches Amway India’s assets worth ₹757.77 crore

Company accused of running a multi–level marketing scam

April 18, 2022 04:31 pm | Updated 08:20 pm IST - NEW DELHI

An Amway sales outlet. File

An Amway sales outlet. File | Photo Credit: MOHAMMED YOUSUF

The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth ₹757.77 crore of Amway India Enterprises Private Limited, which has been accused by the agency of running a multi-level marketing scam.

In a statement, Amway India on Monday said, “The action of the authorities is with regards to the investigation dating back to 2011 and since then we have been cooperating with the department and have shared all the information as sought for from time to time since 2011. We will continue to cooperate with the relevant government authorities and the law officials towards a fair, legal, and logical conclusion of the outstanding issues...”

The attached properties include a land parcel and factory building of Amway in Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district, plant and machineries, vehicles, bank accounts and fixed deposits. The 36 bank accounts identified so far had a cumulative balance of ₹345.94 crore, the ED said.

The company had collected about ₹27,562 crore through its business operations from 2002–03 to 2021–22, out of which it paid commissions of ₹7,588 crore to its distributors and members in India and the U.S. from 2002–03 to 2020–21, as alleged by the agency.

“Amway has brought ₹21.39 crore as share capital in India in 1996–97 and till 2020–21, the company has remitted a huge amount of ₹2,859.10 crore in the name of dividend, royalty and other payments to their investors and parent entities,” it said in a statement, adding that the company ran the “pyramid fraud” under the guise of a direct selling multi–level marketing network.

“The prices of most of the products offered by the company are exorbitant as compared to the alternative popular products of reputed manufacturers available in the open market. Without knowing the real facts, the common gullible public is induced to join as members of the company and purchase products at exorbitant prices and are thus losing their hard earned money,” said the ED.

It alleged that Britt Worldwide India Private Limited and Network Twenty One Private Limited also played a major role in promoting the pyramid scheme of Amway by conducting seminars for joining members on the pretext of sale of goods by enrolment of members in a chain system. The promoters held mega conventions, flaunted a lavish lifestyle and used social media to lure gullible investors, said the agency.

In its statement, Amway India said, “The recent inclusion of direct selling under the Consumer Protection Act (Direct Selling) rules, 2021, have brought in the much–needed legal and regulatory clarity for the industry, while again confirming Amway India’s continuous compliance with the spirit and letter of all laws and regulations in India. Amway has a rich history of maintaining the highest levels of probity, integrity, corporate governance, and consumer protection, which are much ahead of time in the interest of the consumers at large.”

“As the matter is sub judice, we do not wish to comment further. We request you to exercise caution, considering a misleading impression about our business also affects the livelihood of over 5.5 lakh direct sellers in the country,” the statement said.

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