CCAA identifies Puth Group as pyramid scheme, issues alert

The Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority has identified the Puth Group, an investment platform, as a pyramid scheme. With over 6,000 active members across the country, the group has been gaining popularity. The authority has also notified all existing promoters and members to cease promoting and recruiting individuals for the Puth Group.

A BBS investigation found that the Puth group is an investment platform where members invest money for one year. With their investment, members get USDT, a cryptocurrency.

Puth Group members BBS talked to said that the initial investment is recovered within a month and continues to generate profit thereafter for a year in the form of USDT cryptocurrency.

And when members recruit new members, they earn an invitation reward, which is also USDT. The USDT cryptocurrency can be converted to real money, which is facilitated by agents and promoters.

BBS learnt that the Puth Group gained popularity since existing members earned profit and no one reported losses.

“It has become important for us to gain exposure and explore in world of digital currency. Similarly, the Puth platform is mainly based on USDT. Through this platform, we have the opportunity to invest. Nobody has forced us to join this group, instead, we did so willingly,” said an investor in the Puth Group.

“I initially invested an amount worth 240 USDT through Puth group. In just 16 days, I have already recovered about 224 USDT. So, in a few days, I will have recovered my entire initial investment. After that, all the USDT that enters my account in a year will be pure profit. So far, I have viewed everything associated with the Puth group positively,” said another investor.

However, according to a news release from the Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, the Puth Group is a pyramid scheme.

The news release states that the group primarily focuses on the continuous recruitment of new members rather than promoting and marketing any product or service.

The authority said that pyramid schemes deceive people and are fundamentally unsustainable and prone to eventual collapse, which leaves members without the promised return on their investments.

Meanwhile, the Puth Group members say it is not exactly a pyramid scheme as they earn even when they do not recruit new members.

However, BBS learnt that members who recruit 15 and 30 members respectively are given posts of junior and senior captains in the Puth Group.

Post holders earn a certain salary in the form of USDT cryptocurrency.

The Puth Group license has been registered since January, this year, in the name of Phuntsho Wangdi as an E-Commerce platform.

When asked how the business license was given, the Regional Office of Industry, Commerce and Employment in Thimphu said that to enhance ease of doing business, anyone can obtain a license for trading any goods by declaring their E-Commerce website and security clearance.

The office said that a Nu 5,000 registration fee is also levied, which can be paid online.

Kinzang Lhadon & Sangay Chozom

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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