A former Minister and his family worked as advisors for QNet and the government needs to expedite inquiry and take immediate action, says Somaiya while raising the issue in the Parliament
With names of former minister of finance P Chidambaram and his wife Nalini Chidambaram coming out in the open as associated with QNet, the multi-level marketing (MLM) company in an investigation report, the issue has reached Indian Parliament as well. Kirit Somaiya, the member of Parliament (MP) from Mumbai has raised the issue of QNet Ponzi scheme and its investors in the Lok Sabha.
While raising the issue during the Zero Hour, the MP from Mumbai said, "Lacs of people lost money in another Ponzy-MLM scheme QNet, Gold Quest, QuestNet. The group also have connections in Hong Kong. Investors are not getting back money. Mumbai Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take action. Understood Former Minister, his Family worked as Advisors to QNet company. Need Government of India (GoI) to expedite inquiry and action."
QNet, the controversial, Hong Kong-based operator uses multiple names for its MLM scheme and GoldQuest, QuestNet, QNet, QI Ltd and QI group are some of its better known names.
The EOW of Mumbai Police, which is probing the case, had invoked the stringent Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act against QNet, which has denied any wrongdoing on its part. In February 2016, the special MPID Court rejected anticipatory bail applications of Srinivas Rao Vanka and Magaral Veervalli Balaji, both directors of Vihaan Direct selling (India) Pvt Ltd, Suresh Thimiri, director of Transview Enterprises India Pvt Ltd, Malcolm Nozer Desai, who is 20% stakeholder in Vihaan and Michael Joseph Ferreira, former world champion of billiards and 80% stakeholder in Vihaan.
In February 2014, the ED registered a case under the prevention of money laundering act (PMLA) against QNet, Vihaan Direct Selling, Ferreira and QNet founder Vijay Eswaran and three other independent representatives (IRs) of the MLM operator.
According to Gurupreet Singh Anand, a computer consultant from Lokhandawala, Andheri, who had filed a first information report (FIR) against QNet, the MLM scam may have cost the country about Rs7,000 crore since the money is being remitted abroad.
QI group units were actually banned in 2009 while operating under the names of Goldquest International Pvt Ltd and QuestNet Enterprises India Pvt Ltd after a Police action. In India, it was registered as GoldQuest International India Pvt Ltd in 2001. Elsewhere, QuestNet Enterprises was registered in November 2004 in Chennai. Between them, they had offices at Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
In addition, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in its report for 2010-11 has specifically shown both these companies as being under investigation by Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO).