After two months in detention, Amway India CEO Bill Pinckney was released on bail Monday.
According to The Times of India, Pinckney was arrested May 26 at Amway India’s headquarters and is accused, along with the company, of financial irregularities by Amway.
Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos issued a joint statement expressing their relief at the news.
“We are thankful that after these many weeks he is finally able to be with his family, yet profoundly dismayed that this unnecessary detention occurred at all, and are even more troubled that it lasted so long,” they said. “Our focus is squarely on efforts to ensure that nothing like this happens again.”
Amway remains committed to the India market and is working with the various governing bodies there to craft clear legislation that distinguishes legitimate direct selling businesses from frauds. It continues to invest in the country and has a new manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu that is scheduled to come online later this year.
The company also plans a vigorous defense of the charges that led to Pinckney’s arrest, said Samir Behl, Regional President, Europe, South Africa & India.
“We have much work to do to define specific legislation which regulates the activities of the direct selling industry in India,” Behl said in a written statement. “In the absence of such legislation, some authorities have, on a mistaken understanding of the direct selling model, taken the view that direct selling companies are covered under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act. This act does not distinguish between genuine direct selling companies and illegal schemes, nor was it intended to. In fact, this act was never intended to cover the distribution of real products and services and is being misapplied against genuine direct selling companies like Amway.
“We are a legitimate direct selling company, which sells more than 140 daily use products across categories like nutrition, beauty, personal care and home care through individuals who make personal recommendations regarding the use of distinctive high quality products and earn commissions only on the sale of Amway products. Amway products are widely recognized and appreciated for their quality and value. The Amway business costs nothing to join, and all Amway products are backed by a money-back guarantee for 100 percent satisfaction of use.
“The business community in India has supported us in this hour of crisis and pledged its continuing support in our pursuit of fair legislation that also protects Indian consumers. Leading industry associations like FICCI, IDSA, Amcham, CII, USIBC and the Kerala Chamber of Commerce openly support our cause. We are thankful to them.”