A few days after the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an alert on its investigations into the activities of Alliance In Motion (AIM) Global, the commission has indicated that it is yet to establish the real owners of the company, where they are located and what kind of products and services they offer.
CFTC Executive Director Wezi Malonda on Sunday said the commission is treating the organisation as a ghost company for now and asked the public to come forward, if they have any information that can assist in the investigations.
Malonda said based on the outcome of the investigations, CFTC will then determine appropriate penalties and fines to be meted out to the offenders, if found guilty.
“First, we need to establish, whether or not the conduct is in breach of the Competition and Fair Trade Act (CFTA) and The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and then based on severity of the offence, we will determine the penalty,” she said.
On Friday, CFTC issued a public notice indicating that it had commenced investigations against AIM Global and other associated enterprises on allegations of engaging in pyramid selling of goods and services.
The investigation follows information alleging that various individuals and business enterprises, operating under the banner of Alliance in Motion Global, are engaging in the conduct of setting up and promoting pyramid selling schemes in the country.
Pyramid selling is a fraudulent scheme for the sale or lease of a product, whereby one person pays a fee to participate in the scheme and receives the right to receive a fee, commission or other benefit for simply recruiting members into the scheme.
In the statement, CFTC indicated it has an interest in the matter as it raises serious concerns under the Competition and Fair Trading Act (CFTA) and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
“It should be noted that commencement of investigation does not presuppose that any of the enterprises under investigation have violated the law. The commission will, in accordance with Section 8(2) of the CFTA conduct an investigation to determine whether or not the alleged conduct has violated the law,” the statement says.
Among others, the investigation will seek to establish; whether or not AIM Global is setting up and promoting pyramid schemes in Malawi; whether or not, the alleged pyramid selling of goods and services by AIM violates the CFTA.
CFTC has since requested all interested stakeholders and the public to submit any information they may have on the pyramid schemes allegedly run by AIM or associated enterprises.
Submissions may include information on; what type of pyramid schemes are on the market; which products (goods or services) are involved in the schemes; which individuals or enterprises are involved in setting up and promoting pyramids.
“The information you will make available to the commission shall be treated with the strictest confidentiality and will only be used for the purpose of this investigation. If you wish to seek further details and or clarification on any aspect of this investigation, you may get in touch with Augustine Nyirenda on 0999830855 or email augustine.nyirenda@cftc. mw,” the statement reads.