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After facing probe by the EOW of Mumbai police, QNet, its founder and associates will now face the ED sleuths in the Rs425 crore MLM scam
Enforcement Directorate (ED), the agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India, has registered a case in the Rs425 crore QNet scam for money laundering.
According to sources, the ED has named multi-level marketing (MLM) company QNet Ltd from Hong Kong, its official franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, Vijay Eswaran, the founder of QI group and three other independent representatives (IRs) of QNet from Mumbai.
In a media statement, QNET called the money-laundering probe by ED against it as 'allegations that are preposterous and completely baseless'. "QNET as a matter of policy adheres to strong principles of legal business, transparency and corporate governance. All documentation pertaining to the operations of its Indian Franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling and its financial transactions have been provided to the investigators at the EOW. QNet reiterates that it is fully compliant with the rules and regulations of business operations under Indian laws," the MLM said in a statement sent by its PR agency, which does not have name of any company official or spokesperson.
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police, which is also probing the MLM fraud, had so far arrested nine team leaders of QNet for allegedly duping investors by offering to sell products such as magnetic disks, herbal products and holiday schemes through fraudulent practices. The accused have been charged with cheating and forgery under relevant sections of the Prize, Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978.
For weeks, former world billiards champion Ferreira avoided appearing before the EOW until a Mumbai court hearing his anticipatory bail application asked him to present himself before the police by 27th January. On 31st January, the Session Court extended till 17th February the interim protection from arrest granted to Ferreira in the QNet scam. He however, has been asked to attend EOW offices as and when required besides obtaining prior permission from the Court before going abroad.
The complainant, Gurupreet Singh Anand, a computer consultant from Lokhandawala, Andheri in his first information report (FIR) before the EOW stated that his wife was duped for Rs30,000 by some people who had introduced themselves as the independent representatives (IRs) of QNet. Anand told the police, “They (IRs) had said that one of the bio-products my wife bought could be used to treat my 12-year-old son's brain-related diseases.”
As reported by Moneylife, QuestNet and GoldQuest (previous avatars of QNet), the MLM companies that had shut shop in 2009 following police action are back with a bigger bang. They now call themselves as QNet and are thriving in an environment where tens of thousands of Ponzis and MLM companies are able to lure people into believing that they have the formula to instant riches and a high growth career.
QNet operates in India through its official franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, which carries the company's brand name in the country. However, Suresh Thimiri, who is often touted as QNet India's chief executive and had denied any relationship with QNet or any of its representatives, owns the 'QNet' trademark in India through his company Transview Enterprises Pvt Ltd!
Another interesting aspect in the whole episode is all top officials (?) of QNet India do not want to reveal their identity and remain hidden. Moneylife repeatedly sent emails to the company's official PR agencies and also some officials from its parent QI group but there is no information forthcoming.
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