Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Letter by Dr. Kirit Somaiya Against Speak Asia - 18 May 2011

President, Investors’ Grievances Forum
May 18, 2011
Joint Secretary
Banking Division
Department of Economic Affairs
Ministry of Finance
Government of India
North Block, Lok Nayak Bhavan
New Delhi
Sub: Non-transparent, ambiguous, dubious, scandalous Functioning of SPEAK ASIA
Ref : Our letter dated 14th May 2011
Dear Sir,
We are sure you have heard about the controversial, scandalous functioning/
behavior of the so-called on-line company, SPEAK ASIA. I am enclosing herewith
for your ready reference our previous communication in this regard.
I have already filed a complaint with the Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai Police
and had an hour long discussion with 3 Inspectors and explained in detail the nontransparent
functioning of SPEAK ASIA. It seems SPEAK ASIA is a phonsey
scheme/company. Under MPID (Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors)
Act, it becomes the duty of the Economic Offences Wing, Home Ministry of the
State Govt. to take action. The Act while giving power/authority also envisages
Actually, SPEAK ASIA has committed all types of violations –
1. Banking regulations
2. Multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme
3. Foreign Exchange rules violation under FERA
4. Viollations of provisions of Companies Act
5. Cheating and fraud under IPC Sections 34, 120(b), 406 and 420
6. Bypassing of regulatory system
7. Other violations

During the last couple of days, media, particularly electronic media, have explosed
SPEAK ASIA. The management of SPEAK ASIA organized a press conference and
also came on TV of the electronic media to give explanation. All the explanations
are far from satisfactory. It is proved that it is phonsey scheme. Our observations :
i) Company does not have any address either in India or anywhere else. It is
available only through call centres
ii) All monies are transferred through net
iii) Company cheated Indian investors by claiming that they are doing survey for
Bata, ICICI, etc. Company management has agreed and accepted that they
have lied and expressed apology
iv) In spite of repeated questioning, Company could not give details of their
clients, customers, source of income
v) Company could not explain what is their actual business
vi) Company is paying/giving returns to some investors just from the receipts
from other investors
vii) Company is not disclosing details of promoters, shareholders, actual investors
by the owners, etc.
viii) No tangible assets of the Company could be seen
ix) Balance sheet, profit & loss account – nothing is available
x) The so-called survey, on-line survey is nothing but dubious one
xi) In such a short period, Company says it has created 17 lac members and
Rs.5,000 crores investment/turnover
xii) Company’s explanation about its Singapore base is also found dubious
xiii) Company agreed, accepted that the funds are transferred to other countries
xiv) No background about the officials or promoters available
xv) The Company says they are collecting Rs.11,000 per member for the socalled
e-magazine, which is fully bogus
xvi) There is no e-magazine. Simple 2 pages on website/email is e-magazine?
xvii) According to the Company, 17 lac members contributing Rs.11,000 per
member/person/account amounts to Rs.1,800 crores alone from such
xviii) A person can open dozens of accounts
We once again request that, though it is late, it is the duty of the regulators,
Government, your Department to protect the Indian investors, citizens.

All the regulators including the Ministry of Finance, Home Ministry of the State
Govt., Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Home – Government of India, RBI, SEBI,
Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Economic Offences Wing of Police, Enforcement
Directorate, Banking Ministry must act quickly and protect the money-fund
collected from India -
1. Immediate investigation be ordered against the officials/so-called promoters of
2. Their passports be seized
3. Their bank accounts be freezed
4. Action against violations under FERA be ordered
5. Small investors/Indian citizens be protected
6. Government/regulators should see that small investors/Indian citizens money is
returned to them
SPEAK ASIA officials claim that they have members/investors….. of 17 lac persons
and all of them have paid Rs.11,000/- towards e-magazine. There is no
authenticity, names of agents/members available. SPEAK ASIA management
through its website, etc., campaign that they have registration at Singapore. But is
found that the so-called version/declaration of SPEAK ASIA about Singapore is
dubious. They are not regulated at Singapore also.

We request yourself to take prompt action and protect Indian citizens/small investors.


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