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No beating about the bush.
Mr Thimiri, the so-called CEO of the controversial MLM, owns registered trademark of QNet in India. He also admitted before the High Court that his company Transview imports and manufactures products for selling to Vihaan Direct, the official franchisee of QNet in India
The case of QNet, the Hong Kong-based controversial multi-level marketing (MLM) operator is taking new twists every day even as all top executives of the company in India decided to stay hidden citing a case filed with economics offences wing (EOW) of Mumbai police.
Interestingly, 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! See the images below obtained from Trade Marks Registry. Mr Thimiri's company has filed class 42 application for 'QNet' trademark in India.
As Moneylife reported, Mr Thimiri, in his anticipatory bail application filed on 19 August 2013, before additional session Judge DA Dholkia had said, "The applicant (Thimiri) does not hold any sort of relation neither with the Company (QNet) nor its representative (including Eswaran and Vihaan Direct Selling India Pvt Ltd) against whom the Complaint has been lodged by the respondents (Gurupreet Singh Anand) in Oshiwara Police Station." (See image below)
Transview Enterprises is an associate company of Vihaan Direct Selling 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 Mr Thimiri's company Transview. This made the EOW to freeze Transview's bank accounts in ING Vyasa Bank at Bengaluru.
Mr Thimiri, who in his anticipatory bail application had denied any relations with QNet and its representative, has ratified deals between Vihaan Direct Selling and his company, Transview Enterprise.
In his application before the Bombay High Court to defreeze bank accounts of Transview Enterprise, Mr Thimiri said, "The applicant (Mr Thimiri, director of Transview) is in the business of importing and manufacturing products such as Bio Discs, Chi Pendants, Nutriplus, Homepure, watches and various other products and sells the same to M/s Vihaan Direct Selling India Pvt Ltd."
These revelations may come as shocker to few die-hard independent representatives (IRs) of QNet as they strongly believe that all QNet products are imported! From where? Only the company knew about, as it is kept hidden from public view. Anyway, now with Mr Thimiri's clarification about 'manufacturing' of QNet products, these IRs will know the truth.
After perusing both the applications filed by Mr Thimiri before Courts, here are some facts...
1. Mr Thimiri accepted that Transview does not have any relations with Vihaan Direct Selling except supplier-purchaser relations.
2. Mr Thimiri's Transview Enterprise owns the QNet trademark (used exclusively by Vihaan) in India.
3. Vihaan Direct Selling is QNet Ltd's franchisee that carries the QNet brand name in India. After launching Vihaan, the company asked all its old IRs to mandatorily register under the new business name in order to receive their commissions.
4. Mr Thimiri has been named as accused in the report submitted by the EOW before the Sessions Court, Mumbai. It states: “The accused Suresh Thimiri has played active role in running the Money Circulation Scheme under the guise of investment opportunity and the income earned by the participants is based on enrolment of new members into the scheme.”
While Mr Thimiri is trying very hard to de-link himself from the probe, his own submissions are revealing truth. Vihaan Direct Selling carries 'QNet' brand in India that is registered trademark of Transview Enterprise of Mr Thimiri. The submission made by Mr Thimiri before the Courts only underline his links with QNet in India.
Another interesting aspect in the whole episode is all top officials (?) of QNet India do not want to reveal their identity and remain hidden. We repeatedly sent emails to the company's official PR agency and also some officials from its parent QI group.
We asked "Can you please tell us about Mr Suresh Thimiri, who is often labelled as India CEO of QNet on QNetIndia's Facebook page. Is Mr Thimiri the CEO of QNet in India? If not, then who heads QNet in India and who are the top management people? In addition, we would like to know the relations, if any, between QNet, Vihaan Direct Selling India Pvt Ltd and Transview Enterprises Pvt Ltd."
Here is the reply we received from the PR agency of QNet India...
"This is apropos our telecon now a while back and in furtherance to our earlier discussion which took place on the 30 August 2013 with regards to our client QNET, referred by you in your email. On your request, we reached out to our client again today, but they were of the same considered view that since the matter is still sub-judice, they would not like to give any comments for the time being. We will be happy to reach out to you should our client decide to make any statement to the media in the future."
Why would anyone offer Rs15,500 ($256) a day to do basic typing work? Well, it appears to be a straight scam, without even pretending to run a business or create a pyramid. It simply asks people to register FREE, seeks credit card details, ostensibly as age-proof and begins by siphoning off money from members’ accounts.
An email scam called ‘Web Profits From Home’ has apparently managed to ensnare hundreds of Indians with the promise of extraordinary returns form some simple typing work. In fact, it offers a whopping $257(Rs15,500) per day for typing work. The catch is that although it offers a free registration on its website homewebprofit.com as a limited period offer which would otherwise cost $99 (approximately Rs6,200 today). However, it requires potential members to provide credit card details, ostensibly for age-proof and there are innumerable complaints that the company has immediately deducted anywhere between $99 to $119(Rs7,000) on these credit cards.
The online company homewebprofit.com is based in the US and claims to provide basic typing work to be done online. It further lures people by saying that the work does not require any special technical skills, intelligence and mastery and is persons across the world who are looking for easy income opportunities by working from home.
Apart from the extraordinary returns, another give-away for even slightly sensible investors should be the hard-selling tone of typical MLM’s & Get-Rich-Quick Schemes -- “Try it today, be your own boss, set your own hours! Join the thousands who already made Money using this system! Don’t miss the opportunity”. Had it indeed been such a mega opportunity, the company would have been flooded with more applicants than it could ever handle.
Naturally complaints are already piling up from Indians. These include young, unemployed and retired persons and housewives. The website scambook.com (http://www.scambook.com/search?search=home+web+profit&sort=date) shows 379 complaints filed so far, claiming losses of $1,36,382(Rs84,50,000) caused by homewebprofit.com
Balvinder shared how she got trapped by homewebprofit.com saying, “I received an email message to make Rs3,87,000 to Rs4,40,000 a month from home. I click on it and there is a pop up showing that it is free of cost. But the webisite asked my credit card details saying these were only required for age proof. When I filled details they deducted Rs1,254 from my account on 26 September 2013. I mailed them my complaint. Their site shows invalid numbers. On 29 September 2013, I got shocked after receiving message on my cell that Rs6,189 has been deducted by same company with different name Anchorage at Applied Training Online. I have no idea why this happened with me. I am very poor widow and the earning hand in my family”
Another member complains that $119 was deducted from his account although the company claims not to have deducted the money.
Interestingly, US based website is taking care not to dupe citizens of US and Canada. The website clearly states that “Sorry this offer is not available in US or Canada” . Yet, the website touts big American media names in a gimmicky fashion – it claims to have advertised on CNN, USAToday, ABC & MSNBC in order fool the very gullible.
It also has an Indian site ‘newsonlineweekly.com’ which published “success stories” to entrap people to join this site. One such story is about an Indian mother who reportedly managed to earn Rs4,09,386 per month after joining this site. The story has an image of the lady and her daughter with their first cheque of Rs8,795. Tellingly, it does not allow comment and the section is closed with a message: “Comments have been closed due to spam. Please check back later” . This website follows the same gimmick of touting its own advertisements on Lokmat, Dainik jagran as a credibility booster.
Moneylife has frequently warned that "If it looks too good to be true, it usually is." This is clearly another in the same category. To know more about such online scams read our other articles:
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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