Amway India CEO’s Latest Arrest Highlights India’s (In)justice System

Indian protest continuesSometimes it’s right; sometimes it’s wrong.

Sometimes it happens by accident.

Over the last few days, those comments have been made by political leaders in India to describe a certain action that is always wrong and is never by accident: rape.

In this same country, where girls and women are raped and killed, and where police have a well-documented and shameful history of sometimes doing nothing about it, there is a ridiculous repeat of what I wrote about almost exactly one year ago.

That’s the arrest of Amway India Chairman and CEO William S. Pinckney. Last year, he was one of three Amway executives arrested as a result of authorities’ apparent interpretation that they had violated the nation’s Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act.

William Pinckney Amway arrestThis year, it’s more of the same nonsense. Amway President Doug DeVos petitioned India’s newly elected leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to intervene quickly in Pinckney’s release and “to restore confidence in India’s investment potential.”

An excerpt from a story in The Financial Express highlights the very questionable tactics used as a pretense for the latest arrest:

“Intriguingly, the complaints, despite being filed presumably by different Amway distributors in distant towns such as Kurnool, Khammam and Guntur, use almost identical language, according to Samir Behl, Amway’s regional president, Europe, Africa and India.”

The whole episode ought to be so much more embarrassing to India than to anyone associated with the Amway Corporation.

The “arrest-now and ask-questions-later” approach by authorities also reflects more India’s struggles to govern and grow a diversified economy than on anything about Amway, a leader in the direct-marketing industry for more than a half-century.

Get your house in order, India.

Focus on cleaning up the garbage—from the culture of “sometimes right” and “accidental” rapes to the literal garbage piling up in your nation—rather than zealously persecuting CEOs of legitimate businesses.

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