Sunday, February 1, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: India FINALLY moved against SpeakAsia Ponzi, SIX ARRESTED

Those in the US never heard much about SpeakAsia, because it was a hybrid pyramid/Ponzi scheme in India. And it ensnared a LOT of people and money back in 2011.  The current estimate was the SpeakAsia involved 2276 crore Rs (366.5 million USD) and 24 lakh (2.4 million) victims. 

The scheme had collapsed years before, and its head Manoj Kumar had fled the country and is believed to have died in a hospital in Singapore in January 2014. However, the wheels of justice turns slowly in India, and it was just announced that 6 arrests have been made involving this case in India on Feb 1, 2015. 

(A crore is 10 million, so you're looking a 22760 million, or 22.76 billion Rupees, roughly 366.5 million USD in today's exchange rate. And a lakh is 100000, so 24 lakh is 2.4 million)

SpeakAsia started operation in 2010, and claimed to be a 'survey organization' that were recruiting "panelists" for their opinion that can be sold to large companies for huge profit, but they need the panelists to put in money, usually explained as "tests and qualifications" and "e-newsletter subscription", and are encouraged to purchase "additional panels", up to 9.  "Panelists" are paid on the surveys they completed and on recruiting additional panelists. In fact, recruiting ONE panelist is worth 10 "reward points", while completing one week's survey only earns 7 reward points. This was clearly a pyramid/Ponzi hybrid scheme with the money cycled out to pay members who got in early. 

The scheme quickly spread from India into neighboring countries like Bangledesh, Malaysia, and so on.