Bank of Namibia claims TVI Express an ‘illegal scheme’
Ah Africa, home of blood diamonds, daily mass rapes, guerrilla warfare, theft, car hijackings and of course the largest internet scam industry on the planet.
Anyone who’s been on the internet for more then ten minutes has undoubtedly come across a 419 scam email from someone claiming to want to export riches from somewhere in Africa. The catch? You need to send them money first.
Yes, there’s entire offices of people sending out these emails every day in the same manner that people would work a 9-5 job. Meanwhile the authorities haven’t really done much over the last two decades to combat any of the crimes being committed.
Taking all the crime that happens in Africa into consideration, you know you’ve got real problems then if Africa starts claiming your business is an ‘illegal scheme‘.
Enter TVI Express.
Last week the Bank of Namibia warned Namibian citizens against participating in both TVI Express and something called Holidays and Cash because they were ‘operating in violation of the laws of Namibia‘.
The activities of the both H&C and TVI Express resemble those of selling and marketing pyramid schemes as defined in section 1 of the Act, (Act No. 2 of 1998).
In the whole, selling of purported products or services is a small component of the business models in the two schemes and therefore designed to defraud members of the public.
The business operations of the schemes place substantial emphasis on recruitment of participants. In this respect, the schemes offer lucrative incentives to the participants, calculated primarily on the basis of the number of participants or members they recruited into the schemes.
So in other words, the product is secondary to an unsustainable recruitment driven business model (aka. a pyramid scheme). Or rather, the exact same conclusion I reached after I examined TVI Express’ business model earlier in the year.
This decision by the Bank Of Namibia happened mid last week and as pointed out by Kasey’s Korner, the response by TVI Express’ Namibian contingent hasn’t been pretty.
Actually, what’s really sad is that one of those replies was “It can’t be a scam. I need the money to put my kids through school.”
No doubt there’s plenty of others in this financial situation too, relying on a scam to survive.
Meanwhile there’s an ongoing court case in Australia after regulatory body the ACCC also found TVI to be a pyramid scheme. No news on that front but our friend Jack Panaghis is back with another video showing someone called Catherine (presumably one of his recruits), allegedly redeeming a TVI Express voucher in Australia.
Curiously this video entry and the one he published earlier are both not publicly listed. You’d think that if it was important enough for Panaghis to go out and make a video claiming TVI Express was legitimate he’d want the entire world to know.
Or perhaps Panaghis just worried about the Australian authorities response if the current court case against TVI goes sour.
Regardless, unfortunately again it seems Panaghis has missed the point of the regulatory action taken against TVI. Whether the products are redeemable or not is irrelevant, the issue these regulators have with TVI is the business model.
No matter how many hotels you film yourself staying in, the fact that TVI’s business model relies on constant recruitment is unavoidable.
Thus far TVI Express has had pyramid schemes laid out against it by regulatory authorities in the US, Australia and now Namibia;
Thanks for the post on TVI Express. TVI is still expanding, which is sad. Many are not getting paid, and it is illegal in many countries.
This is an eye-opener blog on TVI Express to the rest of Africa and the world in general. Hopeful it does not affect the macro performance of the country’s economy in the long run. Fast solutions are needed.
Thanks for this great information about scam,surely i get to know how people are so untrustworthy to deal with.Africa is one continent that has a large number of people who are not employed and because of this, they will surely engage themselves in such activities.
Anyway thanks for enlightening me on this issue.Great site.
The problem is Africa’s communication structure is not sufficiently developed. Such scams only spread when people cannot independently do research and thus must rely on word-of-mouth recommendations.
In fact, TVI Express is only widespread in areas where communications is lousy and word-of-mouth is relied on. Once the truth had caught up, TVI Express inevitably withered and died.
South Africa have started their crackdown. Indonesia may follow soon.
I love the greater irony that the people investing in TVI in these countries are the ones unable to afford to take any of TVI’s trips.
You have TVI promoting the great ‘travel lifestyle’ to the masses and then if you look at the countries that have the greatest growth membership wise, it’s mostly the poor and uneducated being taken for a ride.