Outdated laws mean Speak Asia free to operate in India
Last month in response to public complaints and a media expose into the inner workings of Speak Asia, Indian regulators announced that they were launching investigations into the company.
Since then however we haven’t heard much.
Some regulators began squabbling over jurisdiction issues whilst others cited outdated laws restricting them from even looking at Speak Asia.
First up we have the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The RBI are now claiming that
Speak Asia does not come under its purview because it is a marketing-cum-chit fund company and “gives users some kind of service in exchange for money”.
Then there’s the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). SEBI
Speak Asia does not come under its regulatory purview because it has issued no securities till date. “This is a marketing company which has just sold a software through its website for a price.”
Both institutions seem to have failed to actively investigate and analyse the Speak Asia business model. This model, when analysed, clearly shows that the bulk of income of successful Speak Asia members originates via the direct recruit of others.
And as for SEBI’s software claim, I’d assume they’re confusing sending out an e-Zine of surveys every week with actual software. As far as I know Speak Asia don’t distribute software.
As for the rest of the Indian authorities involved?
They can all conveniently hide behind the ‘Companies Act’ of 1956. This fifty five year old law has no provisions or guidelines for dealing with or forcing the registration of companies based on the internet.
That’s because (drumroll please)… there was no internet in 1956.
With outdated laws almost sixty years old and no provisions for handling the internet, now would seem like a great time to launch an online scam in India.
Just make sure you register it offshore and make sure you have full compliance from the company you’re operating out of (which should be easy, seeing as you’re not actually going to do anything other then transfer money in said country).
In order to prevent people getting scammed and at the very least open up companies like Speak Asia to analysis and investigation, India needs to urgently update it’s laws.
It’s 2011 guys and technology has come a long way. Trying to address internet scams with laws dating back to 1956 just doesn’t cut it.
That’s because nobody dares to use the “Prize Chits and Money Circulation (Banning) act of 1978” on SpeakAsia thus yet.
Officially, this act is to stop “gifting circles” and similar 8-ball and pyramid schemes from operating in India, and such laws may have been on the books as early as 1933, but I didn’t look into it too much. However, it can be applied to SpeakAsia, albeit somewhat tenuously.
Here’s a discussion on MoneyLife wondering the same thing:
More news… apparently their PR firm quit as well, having been on the job for only 3 months.
Yeah, Speak Asia’s lawyer is gone and now their PR firm. Along with not being able to pay anyone I’d be tipping imminent implosion but they seem to kep on chugging along.
Sounds like the government know what they have to do but just can’t be arsed doing it.
Meanwhile millions get scammed.
MoneyLife India and Tax Department of India tracked the money down… SpeakAsia used over two dozen accounts in India and Singapore to essentially launder money. While SpeakAsia itself is based in Singapore, it has several “branches” that is registered and operates in India.
Apparently India’s Enforcement Directorate are to begin a probe into the financial setup of Speak Asia to ascertain whether the relationship between Speak Asia and Haren Ventures is just a money laundering scheme.
Speak Asia of course are harping on about nobody has contacted them yet. They don’t seem to understand that investigations can occur without them being notified.
Economic Times reported that there is a department that CAN investigate offshore companies, and report will be turned in on July 10th.
Yeah I read about that, waiting to see what happens before I do a writeup. Should be interesting!
They’ve already missed the self imposed deadline for launching their reward voucher shopping portal twice now (late june and then again on July 3rd).
Apparently there’s going to be a ‘business re-start‘ meeting in Mumbai on July 9th (yes, one day before the report is due) to discuss moving forward. I can’t wait to see all the supporters adjusting from making money to having to spend vouchers on products they don’t necessarily need.
Since the interney started you have a zillion companies pursuing you to get hooked to online trading .I know any number of bored housewives and retirees who are hell bent on losing handsome amounts of money between nine to three everyday.And it gets under their skin and can ruin them financially .
But the government and you educated economic corporate pundits believe that every indian adult has the right to make their own mistakes and if they wnt to gamble on the stock market they have everybody’s blessing as long as they pay the govt tax.
So what if speakasia is an MLM business.Some of the largest insurance companies in the US are MLM companies. Warren Buffet owns a bunch of MLM companies.Donald Trump swears by MLM companies as the fastest route for any individual to grow rich quickly.Speakasia is trying to launch it’s product range [see their website] but can carry on only if you highbrow intellectuals lock yourselves up in your ivory tower and let the simple idiots [unlike you] get along with what they want to do.If there is no law stopping them why do you give a fart.
We stoopid idiot unlettered fools don’t need your advice .Dont join Speakasia, who invited you. Just shut up and get out of the way!
Irrelevant. Speak Asia’s business model has nothing to do with online trading.
Irrelevant, Speak Asia’s business model is nothing like the stock market.
It’s not the fact that Speak Asia presents itself as a
community of online soveriegn consumersMLM business, it’s the fact that it’s a recruitment driven pyramid scheme.
Imagine if the stock market had a huge joining fee, paid a pittance in share values and instead, as long as you continued to get other people join the stock market, provide huge dividends.
This would be a valid comparison, but it’s as far from reality as your grasp on Speak Asia’s business model.
Speak Asia’s success has been with a pyramid scheme business model. There is no proof whatsoever that they will be able to continue business with their e-store ventures.
For people to have money to buy stuff they need to earn money and it’s for this reason that Speak Asia’s Yug store will fail. Even at $20 USD (or hell, lets make it $80 if you’re running four accounts) a week, how many weeks is it going to take you to buy a Yug LED TV – on top of feeding your family, promising new members their riches are just around the corner and having to continually get out there and recruit new members yourself?
Your useless transparent diversionary tactics are about as effective as Speak Asia’s laughable video. Whether Speak Asia’s members are complete idiots, or whether those criticising the company do indeed live in ivory towers is irrelevant.
Speak Asia run on a blatant pyramid scheme business model!
Why is it so hard for you lot to swallow that?
What are you talking about? Speakasia is not a proposed full time job for anybody.Almost all speakasians are working people .I know diamond merchants, teachers and bank managers .
Nobody proposes to live on an income of $80 a month .Even for us poor people in India it is practically impossible.For a student it can be some pocket money or for a housewife a maid to help,but nothing more.
But if I have ten panels then $800 a month can help fund college or a car installment or even a home installment.
It seems you guys have no idea about INDIAN reality. So please bugger off…
I really want to stop commenting on your site because you guys are so NOT with it.
HELLO!the gift vouchers are not a replacement of any cash earned by any members.As the name GIFT voucher suggests they are vouchers gifted to high performing panelists[yes, with highest referrals]. Even star panel has a referral system even my bloody club has a referral system, today everybody wants business and are willing to pay hard cash or give discounts in exchange.
HELLO!in speakasia it is absolutely unnecessary to refer anybody .I have not referred anybody till date .Today I am happy with the survey income and when surveys become a smaller part of the business and products become the chief focus I will enjoy these products at a fraction of the market cost .
I need not refer a single person .
So we have THREE different anjus posting, how interesting… (the Gravatar IDs are different)
He owns exactly ONE: Pampered Chef, selling cookware. Any one who told you otherwise needs to keep up with real information.
That’s because he owns one, but his fortune was made in real estate. He wants to promote his own MLM, so he tells you it’s great. Not a lie, but not a complete truth either.
Besides, can you even PROVE SpeakAsia is MLM? What does it sell?
So success of Yug is dependent on turning all SAOL members into consumers. Is that what you’re saying?
So if SAOL is a scam, then Yug is doomed for failure.
You’re mixing businesses. You’re claiming Yug’s discount merchandise (which nobody has seen) will somehow make up for SAOL’s illegality. You’re claiming one promise will somehow change an illegal business into a legal one.
At least you’re making slightly more sense than those “death of government bad men” crazies.
Have you seen Speak Asia’s own advertising?! It’s presented as a valid career alternative to the ‘traditional’ employment sectors in India.
Don’t give me this it wasn’t proposed as a full time job crap.
That’s why you need to RECRUIT people to earn decent money. This is how Speak Asia is marketed via word of mouth and why it is now in trouble. All of those people who got in early made decent money mass recruiting, told others they had to do the same and inevitable some people couldn’t get enough people to join Speak Asia and lost out.
It’s called a scam for good reason.
And where do you think this money is coming from? It’s certainly not coming from companies commissioning Speak Asia to conduct surveys.
What idiotic company is going to pay Speak Asia to conduct surveys when each member can have up to ten sub panels (and subsequently submit 10 survey responses)?!
Furthermore, to date every company Speak Asia have claimed to conduct surveys for has turned out to be a lie. Furthermore there have been news reports of people not even being aware of the E-Zine magazine, they were simply told to just recruit more people to Speak Asia and watch their income grow.
With all due respect, I’ve been following pyramid schemes for a while now – I think it is you who has clearly no idea about the reality of what’s going on here.
It doesn’t matter what you’re happy with. The bulk of Speak Asia’s commissions are paid out of recruitment fees with no forseeable product line. This is called a pyramid scheme.
Do you honestly think Speak Asia has made hundreds of millions of dollars on $20 surveys? How about you get with it?
Yeah, you keep holding onto that promise.
It’s the same person, he or she just keeps on misspelling their email address.