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Amway India Chairman and Two Directors Remanded to 14-day Custody

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Direct selling firm Amway's India Chairman and CEO William S Pinckney, an American national, and two company directors, arrested in connection with three cases of alleged fraud, have been remanded to 14 days judicial custody by a local court at Kalpetta in Kerala.

Pinckney and directors Sanjay Malhotra and Anshu Budhraja were arrested by the Wayanad Crime Branch (Economic Offences) wing from Kozhikode yesterday in connection with three fraud cases registered in Wayanad district.

Kalpetta Judicial First Class Magistrate N Ravishankar last night remanded them for 14 days.

They were booked under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act based on complaints filed by two persons in 2011.

The Crime Branch (Economic Offences wing) had last year conducted searches at the Amway offices at Thrissur,Kozhikode and Kannur districts as part of its crackdown on money chain activities.

Amway, for its part, said it was cooperating with the investigations of the Kerala Police CB-CID further to the complaint filed in 2012 and Pinckney, Budhraja and Sanjay Malhotra have always been present to answer any queries of the police.

"With respect to the Wayanad case of 2011 for which it is believed that arrest warrants have been issued, the company or its officials have not been issued any summons to join the investigation nor was any information sought".

"In this respect, the company management would have been happy to cooperate with the Wayanad Police in that matter as well, as we always have as a law abiding corporate citizen, following all laid down laws of the land," it said.

The Wayanad Police had received four complaints against the firm.

Although the three executives had obtained anticipatory bail in one case filed by Vishalakshi, for which they appeared for questioning, they were arrested on the basis of three complaints filed at another police station in the district.

The three complainants Jafar, T Ashraf and P Hareendran had alleged that in 2002 Amway India attempted to collect money from them with the intention to deceive them by involving them in a money-chain scheme.

Vishalakshi alleged in her complaint that Amway agents collected Rs.3.5 lakh from her for products sold by the companies and asked her to add more members to the chain.

As she could not add more members, she sought a refund but the agents refused.

Following her complaint, last year, the Economic Offences Wing of CB-CID arrested Raj Kumar, who was in-charge of Amway's Kerala operations, and seized products worth Rs 17 lakh.

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