Thiruvananthapuram, May 28: Network marketing firm Amway's India chairman and CEO William S Pinckney and two company directors were arrested in Kerala on Monday on charges of financial irregularities.
The two directors are Sanjay Malhotra and Anshu Budhraja, crime branch sources said.
The arrests were made on a warrant issued in three cases registered by Wayanad Crime Branch in 2011 on charges of violation of the Price Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning Act), crime branch sources said.
Police had questioned the trio earlier this month and had asked them to report again for further questioning on Monday. They were arrested when they arrived at the police station.
Last year, the crime branch (economic offences) wing here had conducted searches at the Amway office at Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur as part of its crackdown on money chain activities. Their godowns at these centres were closed and goods produced were also seized.
The searches were launched following a complaint lodged by Visalakshi of Kozhikode claiming that she had incurred losses.
Meanwhile, an Amway press release at Kochi said the company was providing consistent support and cooperating with the investigations of the Kerala Police CB-CID further to the complaint filed in 2012.
The management represented by William S Pinckney and Anshu Budhraja and Sanjay Malhotra have always been present to answer any queries of CB-CID, it said.
"With respect to the Wayanad case of 2011 for which it is believed that arrest warrants have been issued, the company or its officials have not been issued any summons to join the investigation nor was any information sought.
"In this respect, the company management would have been happy to cooperate with the Wayanad Police in that matter as well, as we always have as a law abiding corporate citizen, following all laid down laws of the land," it said.
Amway has submitted all information and documents that have been requested for the police officials, it said, adding, "We are cooperating with the police for any further investigations in other matters as well."
"We also call upon the Government of Kerala to ensure the enactment of a formal regulatory or legislative framework so as to resolve and provide clarity for all the legitimate Direct Selling businesses," it further said.
Meanwhile, Indian Direct Selling Association secretary general Chavi Hemanth said, "It is very disappointing and unfortunate that due to lack of clarity between direct selling business model and fraudulent pyramid schemes, harassment continues."
"We urge the government to provide clarity immediately," Mr Hemanth said.