NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 757.77 crore of Amway India Enterprises Pvt Ltd in connection with its money laundering probe into an alleged multi-level marketing scam, officials said on Monday.
The properties attached include land and factory building in Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district, its plant and machinery, vehicles, bank accounts, and fixed deposits, an ED official said here.
The official said that the financial investigation agency had provisionally attached immovable and movable properties worth Rs 411.83 crore and bank balances of Rs 345.94 crore from 36 different accounts belonging to Amway.
The money laundering probe revealed that Amway was running a pyramid fraud in the guise of direct selling multi-level marketing network, the official said.
“It is observed that 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,” he said.
The official further said that the new members are not buying the products to use them, but to become rich by becoming members as showcased by the upline members.
“Reality is that the commissions received by the upline members contribute enormously in hike of prices of the products,” the official informed.
He further said that it was observed that Amway collected an amount of Rs 27,562 crore from its business operations from 2002-03 to 2021-22; out of which, the company paid commission of Rs 7,588 crore to its distributors and members in India and the US during financial year 2002-03 to 2020-21.
“The entire focus of the company is about propagating how members can become rich by becoming members. There is no focus on the products. Products are used to masquerade this MLM Pyramid fraud as a direct selling company,” he said.
The official further pointed out that Amway has brought Rs 21.39 crores as share capital in India in 1996-97 and till financial year 2020-21, the company has remitted huge amount of Rs 2,859.10 crore in the name of dividend, royalty and other payments to their investors and parent entities.
He further said that Britt Worldwide India Private Limited and Network Twenty One Private Limited played a major role in promoting pyramid scheme of Amway by conducting seminars for joining members under the guise of sale of goods by enrollment of members in chain system.
“The promoters are conducting mega conventions and flaunted their lavish lifestyle and used social media to lure gullible investors,” he added.