MLM firms run scared

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Kochi: International and national-level money chain marketing firms in Kerala are running scared as the economic wing of the Kozhikode crime branch police has been cracking the whip on those companies that flout the law.
The CB has already raided five multi-level marketing companies in the past two months and seized goods worth crores of rupees. The cops say they are not done yet and are set to raid more illegal firms in the coming days.
Background details and profits of each MLM firm is being tracked, according to P.A. Valsan, the superintendent of the economic wing of the Kozhikode CB. “We are closely monitoring them.  Once we get strong evidence that a company is into multi-level marketing, we take action against them.” However, he added, “But it is a tough job as no one complains about the firm until its owners flee after swindling money. Our job will be much easier if agents or members inform us about the company at the preliminary stage itself,” Valsan said.
Though the law against MLM companies dates back to 1978, it has taken police more than 30 years to probe companies seriously. It was only at the end of 2011 that the Kozhikode crime branch began its fight against MLM companies by taking action against a few firms.
Already raided are companies including Amway, MonaVie, DXN, K-Link and Modicare in Kochi. “We were 110 percent sure that those companies were operating as MLM firms. But it must be said that there are also a few of them which sell goods at reas­onable prices. Although, they have not cheated anyone, they will be charged as they follow the money-chain method,” Valsan said.

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