BoN warns against TVI Express
WINDHOEK – Bank of Namibia maintains its position that the popular Travel Venture International (TVI) Express is a pyramid scheme, and would be forced to go after those engaged in the scheme, since it contravenes Namibian banking laws.
However, the Namibian chapter of TVI Express continues operations and the members say changes have been made to conform to “African laws”. These changes should satisfy the concerns expressed by the central bank.
South Africa’s central bank has also launched an investigation into the activities of TVI Express, but according to Namibia’s head of TVI Express, Magnus Nangombe, the investigation appears to be “an agenda, and issue driven by consumer watch [bodies]”, who are not in favour of the TVI Express business model.
The South Africa Reserve Bank says Nangombe had never had a problem with TVI Express before until the renewed agenda from consumer watch bodies.
Ironically, the Bank of Namibia is under the impression that TVI Express is no longer active in the country since the bank issued statements last year, for people to desist from engaging in TVI Express activities.
It now warns that the Act sets clear procedures on how to take the TVI case further, referring to legal action, if the persons involved failed to repay the monies taken from the public.
“Should the bank find that TVI Express failed to adhere to the directives given to them earlier; this will leave the bank with little option but to invoke the provisions of the law and institute legal action,” said Bank of Namibia in response to questions from New Era.
Nangombe says they have “restructured TVI activities to operate according to the continent, with director for TVI Africa sitting in Johannesburg”.
“There are many changes made and we in Namibia would also check what changes are needed,” he said adding that they are “not afraid” of the agendas that would meet them in a bid to stop TVI Express operations, neither does he foresee any problem once the changes are announced.
According to information obtained by New Era, the changes made revolve around redefinition of terms involving the taking of money from the public.
The South African Reserve Bank is conducting investigations into TVI Express activities, and media reports suggest that an estimated 100 000 South Africans have invested in TVI Express, and more than N$144 million in cash transactions and investments have been identified thus far.
TVI Express members in Namibia are estimated at about 3 000 people. TVI Express is banned in China, USA, Britain, Australia, while Swaziland has also issued a warning asking the company not to operate in their country.
Typical scam excuse: they don't understand us, we're so new, so they're afraid of us, and they want to ban us.