1 held in multi-level marketing scam

The Enforcement Directorate on Friday arrested the co-founders and owners of the Indus Viva MLM Pyramid Scheme, C A Anzar and AbhilashThomas, from their houses in Bengaluru in connection with ₹1500 crore Multi-level Marketing Scam case registered under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case.

ED initiated investigation based on an FIR registered by Gachibowli police. The company is into multi-level marketing scam having illegal pyramid type structures and is working under the guise of Direct Selling Business.

It engaged a large number of distributors and did rigorous marketing about the commission schemes of the company stating that there is a great opportunity of making quick money by becoming a member and then making further enrolments one’s downline.

In order to project their fraud pyramid scheme as a legitimate business, they introduced some products which were by their own admission valued at only 20% of the sale revenue and in reality are completely worthless, officials said. The membership fee paid by new clients used to pay commission to old clients.

The company enrolled around 10 lakh members and collected around ₹1,500 crore.

During the investigation under PMLA, the ED learnt that Anzar and Abhilash Thomas floated subsidiary companies in Indus Viva Group and diverted the funds to these entities and also siphoned off the collected funds into their personal accounts.

The diverted funds were used to acquire properties/ assets in the name of individuals and companies.The accused were produced before the PMLA Special Court, Rangareddy, and were remanded in14 days of judicial custody.

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