Direct-selling company Amway India today said its MD and CEO William S Pinckney has been released on bail, two months after his arrest by Andhra Pradesh Police in connection with criminal cases registered against the firm in the state.
A spokesperson of Amway said Pinckney has been granted bail in all the cases in Andhra Pradesh.
Commenting on the development in a joint statement, Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos said: “The release of Amway India CEO Bill Pinckney is a great relief.”
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They, however, added they were “profoundly dismayed that this unnecessary detention occurred at all, and are even more troubled that it lasted so long”.
Amway Regional President, Europe, South Africa & India Samir Behl said: “His arrest and long detention was unnecessary and unreasonable. We will vigorously defend ourselves at trial.”
Pinckney was arrested on May 26 from Amway India’s headquarters at Gurgaon and later was produced before a court in district Kurnool, which sent him to judicial custody after rejecting his bail plea.
He was subsequently arrested in other criminal cases registered against him in the state on allegations of financial irregularities by Amway, a charge contested by the company.
“Our focus is squarely on efforts to ensure that nothing like this happens again. Our commitment to Amway Business Owners who sell our products in India is unwavering,” Andel and DeVos said.
The direct selling firm has reiterated its commitment for the Indian market and to ‘hundreds of thousands’ of Amway Business Owners and employees.
The company said it would work with the newly elected government for a clear direct selling legislation.
Direct sellers in India have been asking for a separate legislation as there is conflict with the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act (PCMCS).
“Our resolve to work with the newly elected Union Government in New Delhi on clear direct selling legislation is stronger than ever… Amway can partner to find legislative solutions in India that clearly distinguish legitimate direct selling businesses from frauds, protecting Indian citizens from unethical operators,” said Andel and DeVos.
This was Pinckney’s second arrest in India. Last year, Pinckney was arrested by Kerala Police along with two company directors on charges of alleged financial irregularities under PCMCS.
Globally, Amway has operations in countries such as the US, the UK, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. It has invested more than USD 100 million in a manufacturing facility in the country.