HYDERABAD: The Economic Offences Wing of the Cyberabad commissionerate has busted a money circulation scam pulled off by Indus Viva, a Bengaluru based firm. The organisers cheated around 10 lakh people across the country to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore by enrolling them into different schemes, police said.
Cyberabad commissioner VC Sajjanar said they have arrested 24 people including the CEO and COO of the firm and three government teachers working in Telangana and their spouses, who had been working as distributors for it. "The government teachers not only lured the parents of their students but also went on leave to enroll more members into the schemes," Sajjanar said.
The fraud came to light after a victim lodged a complaint at Gachibowli police station, following which a case under sections 406, 420 of the IPC and 4,5,6 r/w 3, 2(C) of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes(Banning) Act-1978 was registered.
Abhilash Thomas, who is the CEO of the company, founded it in 2014 and the other accused joined later. The organisers of the company had earlier worked in different MLM companies including Amway and USA based MonaVie. They left their jobs and floated a new company with a variety of enrollment schemes and incentives to the members. One of the arrested accused Konda Srinivasulu has been earlier arrested by Cyberabad police in a MLM fraud pulled off by Pro Healthyways, the police said.
Based on their performance and enrollments made, members were promised long foreign trips with five star hotel accommodation, diamond rings, luxury vehicles and even a personalised documentary. The company also promoted health and beauty products, all in the same price range. Further, the members were trained on how to enroll more members, motivational classes, which were organized at posh hotels, resorts and function halls in different parts of the country, police said.
The products promoted by Indus Viva are manufactured by Olive Health Sciences Pvt. Ltd at Bengaluru, but none of the products have certification from any government agency and the company has no permission to manufacture them.
"Promoting products is one way of expanding the business and enrolling new members is another way of doing so. One can join the schemes by paying Rs 12,500 or Rs 1 lakh each and earn incentives based on enrollments and product promotion," Sajjanar said.
According to the scheme, if the company reached the 12th level of enrollment, the entire population of India would be its members and at 13th level, all countries in the Asian continent would be its members. "It was found that the company started operations in the USA, Uganda and Bangladesh and work is on to take off in other countries as well. They have also acquired some assets. We are investigating these details as well," said Sajjanar.
The accused will be taken into custody for further investigation, police said.