Nepal | October 21, 2020

CIB refuses to arrest persons operating networking business

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The Central Investigation Bureau said it had no jurisdiction to arrest owners of 25 suspicious companies over illegal networking business.

Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection had written a letter to the CIB around a week ago, requesting it to arrest above 50 business persons and company owners for allegedly running networking business.

Networking business is a multi-level marketing business.

The business has been declared illegal in Nepal.

CIB said it could not arrest any person for operating networking business because the issue was no more under its jurisdiction and there was no court order asking it to do so.

Superintendent of Police Bel Bahadur Pandey, spokesperson of CIB said, “We have made the concerned body clear that we won’t be able to support them as per their need as the issue did not fall into our jurisdiction.” Pandey further said that it was the same department which had denied the police to investigate into the networking business.

“Since they don’t have idea about how to handle the case, they are trying to pass the responsibility to us. But, honestly, we don’t have authority to look into that case anymore,” Pandey added.

The Industry, Commerce, Labour and Consumer Welfare Committee of the Parliament on July 31, had directed the government to halt issuing licenses to networking businesses.

The directive was issued following the prior decision of the DoCSCP to issue multi-level marketing business licences to various firms.

The act was widely criticised by consumer rights activists citing that such firms were notorious for cheating customers in the past.

Netra Prasad Subedi, director general of DoCSCP said they were only seeking support from police for the arrest as expected from another government body. Talking about the Parliamentary Committee’s directive on issuing licenses, he said the lawmakers were confused about it and have already sought the department’s clarification about the issue.

“We have issued licences to only those companies that would directly do business with the public and avoid all kinds of multi-layer marketing.” He said they sought police help to arrest only those who they had suspected of operating such business in disguise.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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