The Home Ministry banned Hong Kong-based company Gold Quest this week, calling it illegal. Over 10,000 Nepalis all over the country have joined this scheme that offers a gold coin for Rs 37,500 (approximately $480) and a bonus of $4,000 after recruiting 100 more members to the scheme. "You could earn up to $2,400 a day," claimed a Gold Quest counsellor.
But officials say the pyramid scheme, which is not registered with the government, dupes unsuspecting people and results in a huge outflow of money from the country. Gold Quest was first introduced to the country two years ago by an NRN visiting Pokhara. "It's a hundred percent fraud," said Krishna Bahadur Manandhar, chief of the foreign exchange department at the Nepal Rastra Bank. He admitted that the central bank was not in a position to regulate the scheme as there are no written records or agreements of transactions.