Fewer direct-sales scam cases due to firmer action Print
Written by 3K Admin   
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 05:59

Published: Tuesday July 27, 2010 MYT 11:39:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: A comparative reduction in the number of cheating cases involving direct sales in the first five months of this year has been attributed to firm action by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

The ministry's senior director of the Domestic Trade Division, Datuk Ismail Ahmad, said there were only 14 cases with RM330,173 worth of seizures between January and May this year, compared with almost 30 cases during the corresponding period last year.

A total of 60 cases with RM1.7mil worth of seizures was recorded for the whole of last year, he said Tuesday.

"The drop in the number of cases resulted from firm action by the ministry in handling the issue," he said.

Ismail also said that the victims of direct-sales cheats at one time were only housewives and the rural poor but now, even the academically qualified were falling prey.

"The tactics of the syndicates are well organised to draw the attention of the public through offers of substantial gifts such as travel packages, luxury cars and high commissions," he said.

Referring to the amendment to the Direct Sales Act 1993, now before the Dewan Negara, Ismail said it was aimed at protecting consumers from falling prey to cheats making use of the pyramid scheme.

"The interpretation of the pyramid scheme was loose, and this made it difficult to prosecute the syndicates. The act now encompasses many other matters, including online business," he said.

Ismail said the ministry was committed to encouraging the growth of the genuine direct-sales industry because of its huge contribution to the country.

Last year, the volume of direct-sales business was RM4.5bil, he said, adding that it was expected to grow to RM5.5bil this year.

"The ministry projects the business volume to rise to RM6.2bil next year and RM7bil in 2012," he said. - Bernama

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/7/27/nation/20100727114612&sec=nation

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 July 2010 06:23