Global Wealth Trade flops after police intervention

POSTED: 05/18/11 12:16 PM

Canadians did business without a license

St. Maarten – Global Wealth Trade got the cold shoulder on Monday when it organized a sales meeting at their “Caribbean Regional Office” in the Yogesh Complex. The publicity surrounding this meeting – a two-page spread in local print media – attracted the attention of the public prosecutor’s office. The sales meeting that drew people in with a $200 gift certificate, got more attention than the organizers wanted in the presence of two police officers.
“We knew that they were coming and we wondered what this was all about,” Chief Prosecutor Mr. Hans Mos said. “I asked the police to attend the meeting. They did not infiltrate, they just went there, it was a public meeting. There were about 120 people in attendance, divided over a French and an English-language part. The organizers were promoting products and actively recruiting people, so they were doing business. And to do that, you need a permit.”
Mos said that the organizers, two Canadians, one Briton and one man from Barbados had entered on their immigration form that they had come to St. Maarten for vacation. “That is fine, but they are not allowed to do business here.”
One man said that he was employed by Global Wealth Trade. The Prosecutor’s Office offered the company a $2,500 transaction for this violation of the ordinance on the employment of foreigners. The maximum fine is 100,000 guilders, Mos said.
Global Wealth Trade is not involved in illegal activities, but the structure of the company and the way it is doing business resembles the business model of Herbalife, a company that marketed a weight loss product in the Netherlands. “You could become a consultant for that company and then you had to recruit new consultants,” Mos said. “That works until the market is saturated. A number of people made good money out of it.”
Mos said that the quality of the Global Wealth Trade products is lamentable. “But for us that was not the point, but people have to realize that St. Maarten is a small market where you quickly reach the saturation point. When that happens you are stuck with your merchandise.”
Global Wealth Trade’s representative in St. Maarten, Felicia Williams told SMN Network that the company has “over 800 members in St. Maarten.”
Like all multilevel marketing companies, Global Wealth Trade uses its top income earners as a marketing tool to attract new members to its sales force. On its web site, the company boasts that founder Reza Mesgarlou makes more than $700,000 a year; Robert Elsinga, who is linked to GWT in St. Maarten apparently, makes more than $180,000 while others boast incomes of between $80,000 and $350,000.
To join the club, new consultants have to pay a $194 annual membership fee. Access to a shopping account (that allows people to buy at “wholesale” prices costs $77.25 per month or $154.50 per month, depending on the package – Retailer, Gold, Titanium or Platinum.
The consultants buy a package of jewelry and handbags for resale. The Retailer package comes at $306, and the most expensive option, Platinum, at $3,036.
There is a ten day cool off period within which consultants are able to come back on their decision to join, but out of what they have paid, at least $306 is non-refundable.
Mos said that consultants who join Global Wealth Trade are of course free to order products on line. But as soon as they start trading in St. Maarten, they will need a permit like everybody else.

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