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Government Gazette

Continuous action against pyramid schemes

COLOMBO: The Central Bank has strengthened its action against pyramid schemes, the Bank said yesterday. Some of the recent measures initiated by the Central Bank are:

The conduct of investigations into pyramid schemes and other unauthorized finance businesses such as unauthorized deposit-taking businesses are handled by the relevant Departments in the Central Bank.

These activities require legal backing and regulatory provisions under different statutes such as exchange control, payments and settlements, anti-money laundering and supervision of banks and non-bank financial institutions and expertise, and the relevant Departments have the necessary resources and skilled staff to handle investigations very effectively.

They have also done so for many years. Presently, these investigations and court cases that had been filed in connection with pyramid schemes are being handled by the relevant Departments with the active assistance of the Police and the Attorney General’s Department.

The Central Bank has also obtained the services of a Senior Police Officer who has been assigned for these tasks by the Inspector General of Police to coordinate investigations with relevant police stations.

This new effort will further strengthen action against pyramid schemes.

As part of the recent operations, the Police raided a pyramid promotion meeting in Polpitigama area and suspects were taken into custody. The case is now proceeding.

The Central Bank believes that public awareness is also vital to effectively combatting pyramid schemes and other unauthorized finance businesses.

Accordingly, an intense programme of public awareness on risks in engaging in pyramid-type transactions has been well-disseminated and it has been made a part of the Central Bank’s public awareness programme on the financial system.

A newly introduced press advertisement in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages is being published regularly to educate the public of fraudulent methods of pyramid schemes and risks involved in participation in such schemes.

The Central Bank warns the public to be aware of the dangers of getting involved in illegal and fraudulent pyramid and multi-level marketing schemes and requests co-operation of the public to inform the Central Bank of any such schemes operating in different parts of the country.

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