Authorities in Côte d’Ivoire have banned Crowd1 and QNet.

The stated reason for the ban is both companies operate as scams and facilitate money laundering.

The regulatory announcement was made as part of a July 8th Council of Ministers meeting.

Section three of the meeting agenda saw council members discuss a national “upsurge in illegal money investing activities”.

Despite the measures adopted by the Government to combat the phenomenon of illegal investments … new players have emerged in the form of network marketing.

These structures, which offer online subscriptions, accompanied by promises of significant returns on investment, through websites, have no known geographic location in Côte d’Ivoire.

Around 30,000 people nationwide have subscribed to the services of these structures.

in view of the real risks posed by these illegal financial investment activities and, in order to protect people’s savings, the Council orders the immediate cessation of all these activities as well as the closure of the websites concerned.

How the ban of Crowd1’s and QNet’s websites in Côte d’Ivoire will be enforced is unclear. Presumably the government is expecting both companies to comply by blocking access.

Speaking on behalf of the Council of Ministers, Sidi Tiémoko Touré cited Crowd1 and QNet as examples of banned scams.

Despite many measures, there are still new players who appear and who excel in network marketing.

In these companies you have Crowd1, QNet, Sahuiri etc.

Enforcement of the ban comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Côte d’Ivoire’s national postal service.

An interesting directive from the Council is the order that

promoters fully return the subscribed capital to each member, on pain of legal proceedings.

Typically recovery efforts by victims of scams are civil proceedings. Here, the Council is suggesting if local promoters in Côte d’Ivoire do not refund their victims, criminal proceedings may follow.

For reference, BehindMLM reviewed Crowd1 in August 2019. Based on its business model, we concluded Crowd1 was a Ponzi scheme.

Our QNet review was published in 2017. Again based on its business model, we concluded QNet was a pyramid scheme.