Global online trading brand eBay has confirmed to FCCC that eBay Shop Online Recruitment Scheme in Fiji is not associated with them in any way and FCCC says despite not receiving any complaints, they are investigating the sheme.
While speaking during a press conference, CEO Joel Abraham says because it is a pyramid scheme, it is a not a matter of ‘if’ but when they start getting complaints and when the scheme fails, those that are involved will be taken to task.
He says the scheme potentially violates the FCCC Act Section 87 A which on pyramid selling scheme and the Companies Act Section 233 on manage investment scheme.
Abraham says the Reserve Bank of Fiji has confirmed that the eBay Shop is neither registered nor licensed by the RBF.
He says the logo that is being used by the perpetrators in Fiji is an exact copy of eBay’s branding internationally and they believe that that is designed to provide some legitimacy or some cover to say that it is a legitimate scheme.
Abraham also says that eBay has said that these sites are intended to scam and exploit brands like eBay and they are dissociating themselves from this set up.
He is pleading with people not to get involved in such schemes because when the scheme falls and they start getting complaints, they will be required to investigate everybody in the scheme and the proceedings they will bring will be criminal in nature.
Abraham says there is also a tax angle to this as well where if you are earning an income you must appropriately declare this income otherwise you are breaching tax laws.
He further says the absence of victims who have suffered financial losses presents a significant challenge for FCCC in pursuing legal action against this pyramid scheme under their existing legal framework.
He says in this context, section 80 A of the FCCC Act requires that there be victims that have incurred losses due to the scheme’s operation in order to establish a case.
Abraham says a potential way forward could involve close monitoring of future developments and instances of financial losses that may arise.
He says they have also issued notices to those that are involved and are yet to receive a response from them.
Abraham says if they fail to receive responses from them, they have got provisions in the law that they will exercise for enforcement purposes.
He also says in the meantime, while they are looking at the review of the FCCC Act, they are also collaborating with the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Fiji Police Force and other relevant agencies to collect more information, monitor such scheme activities and provide better insight into its operation.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations