After several years operated in Indonesia, MMM (Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox) was finally banned. Indonesian Financial Services Authority –FSA (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan – OJK) officially requested the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to block at least 20 MMM-related-websites, considering that the pyramid scheme has spread social unrest. MMM requires its members to transfer money in terms of giving and expecting a-get-help with bigger amount from other participants.
The 20 sites are:
- 2012.sergey-mavrodi- mmm.net, and
The government also warned tv stations and national newspapers to stop MMM advertisement.
In August 2014, the FSA put MMM among the shame list of 262 scam business/investments in Indonesia with various business areas ranging from mlm, forex, farming & agriculture, and gold investestment scams. Thus, a plan to take hard action over MMM was strongly supported by many parties including the House members. “We appreciated the FSA steps to halt MMM business sites in order to protect consumers,” said Mukhamad Misbakhun, member of Commission IX of the House of Representatives, in a press release on Thursday (16/04). He urged the FSA to immediately launch thorough investigations into the organizers of the sites.
Head of Public Relations and Information Center of Ministry of Communications, Ismail Cawidu, said on Saturday (18/4) that the blocking was conducted upon a report submitted by the Chairman of the FSA Board of Commissioners to the Ministry of Communications which was then discussed with the Panel of Illegal Investment, Fraud, Drug and Food, Gambling and Drugs.
The panel then recommend to block MMM websites for such business does not have a legal entity but conducting electronic transactions that attract thousands members in Indonesia. MMM was also deemed do not have a clear organizational structure and public disclosure over the funds management that is transfered among its members. In addition, the government alerts that the MMM leader Sergey Mavrodi faces several legal problems in Russia due to the MMM-related activities that is merely a pyramid scheme, not a real investment.
In addition, the Indonesian Ulema Council, an influential religious organization in the world’s 4th most populous country, also reiterated its view over MMM activities as an unlawful activities according to Islamic regulations.
The Task Force Investment Alert also agreed that MMM websites’ content are potentially trigger public losses and unrest. However, the closure of MMM activities in Indonesia, will not have significant effect to protect Indonesians from such scams. Hundreds of MMM-type-business websites and other models of scams has been operating for years and continue flourishing due to the absence of proper regulation in the ASEAN biggest country.