Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) raided the premises of Asia Ceramic Marketing Sdn Bhd on Wednesday following complaints from the public.
“Assets and documents of the company were seized,” said BNM in a press statement yesterday, adding that Asia Ceramic Marketing was being investigated under Section 24(1) of the Banking and Financial Instituitions Act 1989 and Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.
Although officials of Asia Ceramic Marketing declined to comment, an advisory has been published on its website telling distributors to stop all transactions for the time being.
According to the website, Asia Ceramic Marketing is “a trading and e-commerce company that produces compositions of ceramic and pottery products”.
To run their e-commerce platform, the company established the Ceramic Business Club (CBC) in 2007, which is claimed to be based on a network or multi-level marketing structure.
The CBC is essentially a pyramid scheme where distributors purchase membership with the club and partake in what the website terms business profit sharing. What makes them unique, says the company, is that membership in the CBC provides a risk-free, guaranteed income to distributors every month whereas other pyramid schemes require investors to actively recruit new members to gain an income. Further commissions are paid out for the recruitment of new distributors.
Some claim that there are two packages offered for membership into the CBC. One is worth RM155, and the other RM1,550.
Distributors are offered further perks such as Giant, KFC, and Pizza Hut vouchers as well as special travel packages.
BNM warned the public to “be cautious of deposit taking schemes and investment schemes offered by individuals or companies that are not licensed or approved by the relevant authorities.”
For a list of licensed institutions authorised to accept deposits, refer to BNM’s website, www.bnm.gov.my.