QNet India’s CEO Suresh Thimiri, in his anticipatory bail application has denied any relations with the MLM company and its representatives!
The case of QNet, the Hong Kong-based controversial multi-level marketing (MLM) operator is taking various twists every day; but this one will shock its tens of thousands zealous subscribers and distributors as well. Suresh Thimiri, QNet India's chief executive, in his anticipatory bail application has denied any relationship with QNet or any of its representatives.
Thimiri, in his anticipatory bail application filed on 19 August 2013, before additional session Judge DA Dholkia has said, "The applicant (Thimiri) does not hold any sort of relation neither with the Company (QNet) nor its representative (including Eswaran) against whom the Complaint has been lodged by the respondents (Gurupreet Singh Anand) in Oshiwara Police Station." (See image below)
Interestingly, the same Thimiri is often seen hobnobbing with QNet's 'sales force' or independent representatives (IRs) as well as celebrities like Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan as recently as in April 2013. One simple question, to the legendary cricketer. Why he is not promoting QNet in his home country? Is this because, Sri Lanka has particularly banned QNet in its previous avatar? (See image below)
Even, Thimiri's profile on LinkedIn shows him as chief executive of Transview Enterprises (QNet) (). Transview Enterprises Pvt Ltd is an associate company of Vihaan Direct Selling India Pvt Ltd that handles QNet's MLM operations in India since 14 April 2012. Before that QNet's Indian operations were controlled by QuestNet Enterprises (India) Pvt Ltd a company registered at Chennai. QuestNet Enterprises was operating QNEI eStore, a platform from where IRs, which is how the investor-dealers of QNet are described, could place orders or buy products and also enrol new recruits. After launching Vihaan, the company asked all its old IRs to mandatorily register under the new business name in order to receive their commissions. Vihaan is a direct selling agent of QNet and had done large financial transactions with Thimiri's company Transview.
Coming back to Thimiri’s submission in the Sessions Court, this may appear strange for those who do not have much knowledge of a typical MLM company and its operations. Most MLM companies tell distributors or IRs not to make claims for the products except for those found in company literature. (That way the company can deny responsibility for what distributors do.) However, many companies, including QNet and Amway hold sales meetings at which people are encouraged to tell their story to the others in attendance.
Last year, senior Amway representatives Richard N Holwill and Rajat Banerjee, who met us, admitted that although some distributors tend to go overboard in pitching the scheme, income from being a distributor of Amway can, at best, be a source of additional income or pocket money for most people. It is not the pathway to riches as MLM companies make it out to be.
Another modus operandi that is used by the top guns of MLMs is either they deny any association with the company and claim that they themselves are victims of this fraud! Reportedly, few years back police registered a complaint against a female IR (who has now become diamond in QNet) for fraud and cheating. The lady walked away from the case by claiming that she herself was a victim of this fraud. One wonders, why then the lady did not file similar complaint against the company? But this is how these MLMers operate.
In case you are still wondering why Thimiri is not filing a complaint against QNet for using his name as CEO, here is an eye opener from the Hong Kong High Court. Hong Kong-based Kurt George Rocco Rinck, who was one of the founder-director of QI group, the parent of QNet, GoldQuest and QuestNet had filed the case. Although his case was dismissed on ground that he had signed a trust agreement and thus was liable to pay money to QuestNet, here is what Justice John Saunders had stated…
2. The particular business run by QuestNet made it necessary for various of QuestNet’s directors to establish in their personal names, to be used as what were described as “buffer accounts”, bank accounts in which funds were held, to be available to QuestNet, to avoid potential problems which may arise should QuestNet’s own bank accounts be frozen.
3. In order to establish one of these buffer accounts, on 18 November 2003, Mr Rinck made a declaration of trust in favour of QuestNet in which he declared that he held all moneys in certain accounts with Citibank in Hong Kong, namely accounts numbered 12330345, 12330353, 82346968, 19356439, 39052036 and 29342899, (the Citibank accounts), which accounts were in his personal name, and that he held:
“all money which may be accrued to or deposited into the aforesaid account from time to time on trust for the absolute benefit of (QuestNet) until such time as those money are withdrawn, transfer or in whatever way he taken out from the aforesaid account according to the instruction of (QuestNet).” (sic)
4. By a subsequent similar declaration of trust, dated 13 December 2005, Mr Rinck reiterated the declaration of trust that he had made in relation to the Citibank accounts, and further declared that he held all money in account number 800777 (under Identification #800777 SAWTSCHENKO) with Dominick Co Bank in Zurich, Switzerland upon trust for the absolute benefit of QuestNet. In these proceedings the funds in the various accounts, as at 30 June 2006, have been referred to as the Trust Funds.
5. A dispute arose between Mr Rinck and QuestNet around late June or early July 2006, as a result of which QuestNet took steps to remove Mr Rinck from his positions as an employee and director of the company. Mr Rinck disputes that those steps have been effective.
Coming back to Thimiri, the Sessions Court has granted him interim bail on execution of personal recognizance (PR) Bond of Rs25,000 with one or two sureties of the same amount, while directing him to be present before the investigating officer as and when required.
We sent an email to the PR agency of QNet India. The agency told us over phone, that QNet India does not want to provide any information, including names and designations of its top executives at this stage and may issue a statement once the investigations get over.
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Environmental clearances are becoming major hurdles for projects that can help the country reduce its import bill and thus save precious foreign currency (US dollar). Is it time to reorganize and restructure the Ministry of Environment and Forests?
The Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI), headed by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, took a major step in demanding the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), to clear all pending issues, particularly those relating to power projects, within six months.
Perhaps, the time has come for the government to reorganize, restructure, and clearly lay down the terms of reference for efficient functioning of the MoEF. They need to be accountable for delays and have to periodically bring to public notice the unacceptable delays that the promoter may cause in completing the required conditions laid down by MoEF. This will give the promoter an opportunity to explain his position, so that corrective steps can be taken in order to move forward.
Projects worth crores of rupees that endanger the national progress, due to delays in completion, have been stalled for one reason or another, due to delay in environmental clearances. Cases have been pending for years, while imports continue unabated for essential items. With the largest of coal reserves in the world, India has been forced to depend upon imported coal.
Power generators have had to curtail production simply because the fuel is not available. Bottlenecks faced by mine-owners have been enormous; gas supplies from Reliance failed to meet the initial production promised due to fall in output, where it was hoped to increase.
But, for instance, in the case of Cairn India, who wants to, and who can increase their production, they cannot do so, simply because they have not got the "green nod"! Let's take a look at Cairn India story.
Cairn India began to produce gas and oil four years ago, and have now reached 1.80 lakh barrels per day (bpd). Their plans are to be able to reach 2 lakh to 2.15 lakh bpd by March 2014, subject to, of course, environmental clearance! This is the major stumbling block.
Based on production at the wells, it is estimated that they can actually reach 3 lakh bpd once necessary clearances are received. Obtaining the clearance from MOEF should be a mere formality, rather than a stumbling block, for a producer who has been at the job for four years now!
It is rather unfortunate that the much talked about one window clearance does not apply in proven cases, like Cairn India's gas and oil fields. In fact, in addition to obtaining the MoEF clearance to increase the production to say 3 lakh bpd, they need to obtain permission from the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Rajasthan Government as well. Why should this be so?
Obviously, the clearance formalities from these two key areas are moving at their own pace, and, as a result, Cairn India has sought intervention by the CCI to expedite the case. It may be noted that Cairn India's project at Rajasthan is estimated to cost in excess of Rs28,000 crore!
In addition, readers who have been following up the Cairn Story may recall that, earlier, they had surrendered some areas after exploration, but, recently sought reinstatement of the area back to them, so as to continue their work. They must have sufficient reason for this request, as after all they had done a lot of survey work; but, instead of returning the surrendered areas back to Cairn, the explorer has been asked to ‘re-apply’ for getting the allotted area back, along with the rest of the applicants, if any. Such a procedural demand is childish and not realistic. Why apply ‘delay-tactics’ here?
In the meantime, it appears that Cairn have also sought approval for going ahead with their integrated development plan for Rajasthan. Simply considering their past well established presence in the State and with their proven track record, they feel they can also reduce the block development time.
It must be remembered that our current account deficit (CAD) has been caused by huge imports of gold and our continued dependence on oil, gas and coal imports; we do not mine gold, but we do have access to the rest in the country itself. Indigenous supplies help us to save the much-needed foreign exchange.
Due mainly to these factors, the Indian rupee is in the doldrums and heading towards the 70 level against the US dollar.
Under these difficult circumstances, it is imperative that the government gives an open clearance to expand and/or increase production of these items by 25% without the need to obtain formal clearances (green nod), which can be completed at a later date. Such a move will save us months of agony, and will not disrupt production.
Dilly-dallying by multiple organizations involved in ‘clearances’ needs to be eliminated for us to move forward.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)
From June 2013, purchaser of property with value of Rs50 lakh and above should deduct 1% TDS at the time of making payment. Here is the guide about making payments of TDS and obtaining form 16B for the buyer and form 26QB for the seller
I would like to run the readers through the TDS payment process and the steps to be taken to obtain Form 16B (for the deductor or buyer) and Form 26QB for the (seller or deductee).
Firstly one has to go to the following link:
This is the first phase of the process. Once this is completed one has to wait for seven days for the details to be reflected on TRACES web site - https://www.tdscpc.gov.in/. As a first time user, you will have to register on this website. Once you register whether as seller or buyer, you will be able to obtain the Form 16B or 26QB which has been approved and is reflected against your PAN in your Form 26AS.
Check Form 26 AS after seven days and you will notice that the payment you had effected against TDS on sale of property is reflected in Part F of the Form 26 AS under ‘Details of Tax Deducted at Source on Sale of Immoveable Property u/s 194(IA) [For Buyer of Property]. This will give you details such as the TDS certificate number (generated by TRACES), name of deductee, PAN of deductee, acknowledgement number, total transaction amount, transaction date, TDS deposited, date of deposit, status of booking and date of booking.
Once the payment is reflected in 26AS as above, you will have to go to the TRACES again. Login to the website, and click on ‘Downloads’ tab. In the dropdown menu click on ‘requested downloads’. If no application has been made you will be asked to make a request for download, here fill in the acknowledgment number (nine digit number) which is reflected on Form 26AS Part F as mentioned above. Once this is done, you will be able to view the status of your application, which generates an application request number.
Within a couple of hours, the application gets processed and you will be able to view your Form 16B by putting in the request number which you have obtained. You can take a printout of the same for your records as well as for handing over to the seller of the property. A similar process has to be followed by the seller to obtain form 26QB.
The entire process is system driven and works very smoothly.
For more details, you may also want to visit the Tax Information Network site.