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ED arrests Indus Viva promoters in Multi- Level Marketing (MLM) scam

HYDERABAD: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Abhilash Thomas and CA Anzar from Bengaluru, who are the co-founders and owners of Indus Viva Health Services, in a Rs 1,500 crore Multi- Level Marketing (MLM) scam.

The ED initiated an investigation based on a case registered with Cyberabad police at Gachibowli police station. In March, Cyberabad police arrested 24 persons in connection with the scam and froze the bank accounts of the company having deposits of around Rs 20 crore.

According to the ED, the company has an illegal pyramid type structure and is working under the guise of Direct Selling Business. The company engaged a large number of distributors and did marketing about the commission schemes stating that there is a great opportunity for easy money by becoming members.

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

By giving false promises and inducements, the company enrolled around 10 lakh members and collected around Rs 1,500 crore since its inception in 2014. During the investigation, it is noticed that Anzar and Thomas floated subsidiary companies in the Indus Viva Group and diverted the funds to these entities and also blatantly siphoned off the collected funds into their personal accounts.

Those funds were used to acquire properties and assets in the name of individuals and companies. The accused were produced before the Special Court for PMLA cases and were remanded to judicial custody.