Just days after SpeakAsia launched their new Yug branded shopping portal website, Indian police have announced that they are going to lodge a ‘First Information Report’ (FIR) against the company.

Amazingly, despite the number of complaints received by the Indian police department (the exact number has not been disclosed), the police have stalled any criminal proceedings against Speak Asia claiming that ‘the complainants do not have any substantial document as proof to back their complaints‘.

Notably I imagine most of these complaints go along the lines of ‘waaaah I invested money in Speak Asia and lost it HELP ME!’, but shouldn’t that in itself be enough to kickstart an investigation into the business model of SpeakAsia?

After originally looking at SpeakAsia’s business model, I’ve consistently maintained that it’s nothing more than a recruitment driven commission scheme. The company originally touted itself as a market research company with panelists but the income derived from completing surveys paled in comparison to the recruitment commissions.

Regardless of what any member of SpeakAsia tells you, the buck stops there and it should be upon this one solid fact that any discussion on the legitimacy of SpeakAsia should be held.

A failure to do so, in light of repeated and consistent complaints by the Indian general public only highlights the complete incompetence of the Indian police and relevant authorities in handling such matters.

That said, the filing of a FIR is significant as

a First Information Report or FIR is a written document prepared by the police in India when they receive information about the commission of a cognizable offence.

A FIR sets the process of criminal justice in motion and it is only after the FIR is registered in the police station that the police takes up investigation of the case.

A cognizable offence being

one in which the police are empowered to register an FIR, investigate and arrest an accused involved in cognizable crime without a court warrant.

Thus far we’ve only heard about government regulators probing (and then subsequently stalling or refusing to continue their investigations) into SpeakAsia so it will be interesting to see what eventuates out of this FIR.

The burning question: Are we going to see any SpeakAsia arrests made as a result of the FIR?

I for one doubt it. It was only after ‘Inspector General Mukesh Gupta lashed out at officials for not initiating any proceeding against the company despite repeated complaints‘ that the Indian police decided to file a FIR.

Given their complete reluctance to initiate anything on their own, I imagine their investigations into the complaints will be equally as lacklustre and impotent.

In the meantime, still no news on the Registrar of Companies report on SpeakAsia that was supposed to be filed on the 10th of July, but either way – what’s going on at a government level seems to be at great odds to the image SpeakAsia are projecting.

Despite not being able to pay its members, announcing their Mumbai office and still imagining 10 million members by 2012, anyone would think it’s business as normal down over at SpeakAsia HQ.