BitConnect Ponzi scheme collapses, wiping USD 2.4 billion in 10 days
In a major shock to supporters of virtual currencies, BitConnect, the first multi-level marketing (MLM) initial coin offerings (ICO) lending Ponzi scheme has collapsed wiping out almost USD 2.4 billion in just past 10 days, says a report.
 
According to a report from BehindMLM.com, BitConnet has advised its affiliates that it was 'halting' it’s lending and exchange platform. "Rather than acknowledge they had run out of money to pay affiliate ROIs with, BitConnect instead blamed 'bad press', the US government and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks for its collapse," the report says. 
 
About 10 days ago, Bitconnect Coin (BCC) was trading at $431. As on Wednesday, an adjusted market cap of just $224 million for BitConnect equates to $2.4 billion wiped in just 10 days. The report says, "In the wake of BitConnect’s collapse, public trading of BCC points has plummeted to $30 to $40. BCC points were always worthless but given they cannot be parked for a Ponzi ROI, the trading value between BitConnect investors is now expected to approach $0."
 
BitConnect affiliates were acquired BCC points from anonymous admins or other affiliates, and then parked the points with the company on the promise of a daily return on investment (ROI). The exchange platform was an internal exchange BitConnect affiliates were able to cash out through, typically by selling their points to other BitConnect affiliates.
 
In a post, BitConnect had stated "The continuous bad press has made community members uneasy and created a lack of confidence in the platform. We have received two Cease and Desist letters, one from the Texas State Securities Board, and one from the North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division. These actions have become a hindrance for the legal continuation of the platform. Outside forces have performed DDoS attacks on platform several times and have made it clear that these will continue. These interruptions in service have made the platform unstable and have created more panic inside the community."
 
BehindMLM says, the reality is that BitConnect had actually been deriving profits from a trading bot, as the anonymous owners claimed, issues like bad press and cease and desist letters would be a non-issue. "BitConnect’s website went down four days ago. The company claimed this was due to DDoS attacks, however it is far more likely BitConnect’s anonymous admins instead used this time to secure and transfer out what was left of invested funds," the report added.
 
Meanwhile, price of Bitcoin fell by more than 20% over the last 24 hours in major markets in Asia over fears of fresh restrictions in South Korea and China. According to the CryptoCompare website, Bitcoin was valued at an average price of 1,394 million yen ($12,562) in Japanese exchange houses on Wednesday, and 13,513 million won ($12,628) in South Korea.
 
The prices of the cryptocurrency -- that has been on a downward trend since the beginning of January indicates a fall of 22.7% in Japan and 24.14% in South Korea over the last 24 hours. Ethereum, another cryptocurrency, also fell more than 20%, whereas Ripple and Bitcoin Cash lost between 10% and 15% of its value.
 
The current price of Bitcoin is around 40% lower than the record high it touched in the middle of December, when its value had crossed $19,000.
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Who Is Helping QNET Thrive in India?
After starting its innings with a spate of actions against a variety of ponzi and money-circulation schemes, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has gone slow on investigating such dubious entities that loot gullible Indians with the promise of extraordinary returns or selling dodgy products. The ministry of consumer affairs (MCA) has been seeking self-declared affidavits from direct selling companies under a set of guidelines the acceptance of which is being projected as a sort of clearance. There is no effort to probe into their actual operations.  
 
The most notorious of these is QNet which has been the subject of a detailed report by the serious frauds investigation office (SFIO). It is projecting as a clean chit a stay-order of the Supreme Court (SC) on action by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the police. The company has been employing extraordinary dubious strategies to get us, at Moneylife, to delete articles with regard to investigation and enforcement action against it from our website, forcing us to file a complaint with the Mumbai police and the cybercrime police. Its digital team follows a strategy of intimidation and character assassination of whistleblowers and others who complain against it. With the matter now in the SC, there is a chance of its fate being decided one way or the other, especially in the light of a detailed SFIO report. 
 
A revival of QNet in India raises questions on the government’s seriousness about tackling dubious money-circulation schemes, especially the financially powerful ones with global operations and fund flows. In early December 2017, the reputed blog known as BehindMLM (http://behindmlm.com/mlm-reviews/qnet-review-how-is-this-mlm-company-still-in-business/), which tracks shady multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes, published a detailed analysis of QNet, with a large segment on its Indian operations. 
 
It says, QNet (originally started out as QuestNet to sell numismatic gold and silver coins at fancy prices) has “spawned at least 76 related shell companies” and is itself a subsidiary of the QI Group started by a Malaysian national, Vijay Eswaran. The blog says, QNet is headquartered in Hong Kong, but “has been very careful not to conduct business in either Hong Kong or China.” Further, other than Malaysia, “QNet has run into regulatory trouble in pretty much every country it’s established a significant presence in.”
 
The blog goes on to list such regulatory action in the Philippines, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Iran, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and even Burkina Faso, which labelled QNet ‘a network of crooks’ (2016) and India. In many jurisdictions, its officials have been arrested and released. And, like in India, it has managed to obtain reprieve in some others. 
 
The same analysis reveals that India gives QNet its third highest traffic (Alexa data), after Cameroon and Morocco. What is worse, regulatory action has ensured that QNet has collapsed all over Asia, except in India; African governments have also intensified their crackdown on the business. Ironically, while India claims to be going after shell companies, here is what the analysis concludes about QNet’s ability to survive: QNet is still in business due to is rampant use of shell companies, “for no other reason than to confuse authorities and make investigations harder, coupled with hopping from one market to the next as they each collapse.”
 
The question then is: Why is this government encouraging the company through inaction? Comments posted on Moneylife’s articles online expose the large number of people who feel cheated by its sales strategies. And, yet, the company is working at gaining acceptability by offering to sponsor the events and activities of several large chambers of commerce. While it is already a part of the ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has resisted its inclusion, despite an offer of substantial funds for its programmes. 

 

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COMMENTS

Amrit Kumar Lodha

1 month ago

Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Private Ltd hold all its equity capital
I have been trapped by one college freind Amit Keyal ,from Calcutta University, who had once been a good friend and kind of a guide as well. I trusted him since college and respected him as I thought him to be a simple good man. But I am so mistaken as I released last year when he forced (by lying and showing confidence in him saying he is always there) me to pay him almost 2 Lakhs (I took a loan to give him that money) which he said he would give me back if I am not able to continue the so called e-commerce business (Qnet). Nothing was explained before the payment was made. all details about how the company works and what do i have to do are told after I was already trapped and had no other way but to follow what they say. They ask you to make friends and tell them that I m into a mind blowing business and henceforth trap the victim. I chose not to cheat people. My money is lost because since then I have called and messaged that so called businessman (traitor) numerous times but in vain and now after an year I have almost lost all hope of getting back my money .
But I m happy that I didn't turn into one of those kinds going around cheating my own friends and family.
There are many people making a lot of money out of this totally fraud MLM company. There are other MLM companies as well but they are ethical as they agree to that fact and reveal what a member has to do before trapping someone.

I Can provide Some Contact details hereunder:

Q Net Association in Kolkata and all over world.

Sl.No. Name Mobile No. Mobile No.
22 Amit Keyal +971-566584028
4 Ashish +977-9802036176
1 Avinash +91-9330958969
2 Dayanad Mittal +91-9920350221
8 Deepak Kankani +91-9830783316
20 Hemant Surana +91-8697540123
18 Murtazir Nazar +91-9051061879
13 Nishant Gupta +91-9860779185
19 Saru +91-9830235419
21 Shyam Chaudhry +91-7506226543 +91-9930136801
3 +91-8092084462
5 +91-9980096781
6 +91-8100058258
7 +91-8951174594
9 +977-9845096260
10 +91-9376518122
11 +61-411895943
12 +971-557703213
14 +91-9930761147
15 +91-9167780347
16 +91-9836331256
17 +91-9038082570
18 Babita Agarwal+91-9635276465

gurupreet

5 months ago

Hello Friends,
We have been receiving hundreds of enquiries from QNET VICTIMS across India asking on how to join the FINANCIAL FRAUDS VICTIMS WELFARE ASSOCIATION (FFVWA) which is fighting for the LEGAL RIGHTS of the QNET SCAM VICTIMS in SUPREME COURT of India. You can contact us on WHATSAPP on 9137721819 .

Congratulations to all FFVWA on our major mile stone and success in Supreme Court of India.

Before proceeding further I would like to mention that we are contactable on WHATSAPP on 9137721819 and victims can contact me on Whatsapp on this number only as my two phones were stolen in Delhi and my main number 7498053701 could not be recovered.

A brief summary on the need for forming the FFVWA is summarised in the two news stories below:

https://www.mid-day.com/articles/qnet-forms-financial-fraud-victims-forum-scam-gurupreet-singh-anand/17659179

https://www.mid-day.com/articles/victims-of-fraud-unite-to-catch-qnet-scamsters/19309192

As you are aware we have successfully fought the best criminal lawyers appearing for QNET SCAM till date including lawyers like Kapil Sibbal, Salman Kurshid, Mahesh Jhetmalani, Abaad Ponda…the list is long. The fight is being fought on LEGAL GROUNDS with good FACTS and DATA. The fight has not been easy and but each and every court that I have appeared and argued my case In-Person I have won inspite of BIG MONEY POWER/PRESSURES etc from the QNET SCAM supporters.

You can become part of our organisation FINANCIAL FRAUDS VICTIMS WELFARE ASSOCIATION (FFVWA) which is fighting for the LEGAL RIGHTS of the QNET SCAM VICTIMS in SUPREME COURT of India by downloading the membership form from

DropBox at

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2piy8eudhlz3oj6/FFVWA%20Membership%20Form.pdf?dl=0

and filing it properly and sending it across by courier to:
Anuja Kotecha (Joint Secretary)
Flat no 701, Nazreth Niketan,
Charath Singh Colony, Behind Dragon Fly Hotel,
Andheri-east, Mumbai: 400093
After having completed the form please take snapshots of the same and whatsapp to us on 9137721819.

Please beware there are no short cuts to refund, stay away from individuals who promise you refunds illegally using various tactics. Stay united and fight for your rights LEGALLY.

Regards
Gurupreet Singh Anand
Anuja Kotecha & FFVWA

mnanda.om nanda

1 year ago

Your report falls short of vital facts that DRI- the premier investigating agency of Customs in India had made out a strong case of evasion of duty and subsequent penal actions . Please update your article.

Viswanathan Srikantan

1 year ago

It was operating under the name Gold Quest before and many of their operatives in India were arrested and the case I is still on. May be now they are again operating under the new name..

vimlesh

1 year ago

Qnet is ruining the country financially, socially and culturally.

CBI names Rose Valley chief, Trinamool MPs in supplementary charge sheet
Kolkata/Bhubaneswar, The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed a supplementary chargesheet against three of the accused in the Rose Valley chit fund scam including the company chief and two Trinamool Congress MPs who were arrested earlier.
 
"The CBI has filed a supplementary chargesheet in Bhubaneswar in the ongoing Rose Valley chit fund scam investigation. The names of Rose Valley Group chairperson Gautam Kundu, and Trinamool Congress MPs Tapas Paul and Sudip Bandyopadhyay are mentioned in the chargesheet," a senior CBI officer said.
 
In the chargesheet, the CBI indicted Bandyopadhyay, Pal and a Rose Valley subsidiary under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 4 and 6 of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act.
 
It also slapped Section 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (abusing position as a public servant) against the Trinamool MPs.
 
"The investigation revealed that both the said accused persons in criminal conspiracy with then CMD of said Group of Companies allegedly abused their official position and participated & aided the illegal fund collection business of the company. 
 
"They allegedly promoted the illegal business of the company by writing letters to the Regulators favouring the company and also by sharing the dais with accused directors in various functions for canvassing about the schemes. In lieu of which they received alleged huge financial benefits in cash as well as in kind," said a CBI statement.
 
Bandyopadhyay, a four-time Lok Sabha MP, has been under CBI arrest since January 3 for his alleged links with the ponzi scam, while Paul, the other Trinamool MP, was arrested December 30 last year on the same charges.
 
Kundu, Rose valley group chairman, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 2015 under the criminal charges and provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He was handed over to the CBI later.
 
Thousands of people were allegedly cheated in West Bengal and Odisha in the ponzi scam that allegedly promised astronomical returns to its depositors.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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