The Cyberabad police in Hyderabad have registered 38 cases and arrested 70 people in a multi-level marketing scam allegedly involving QNet. The cases were registered in various police stations under the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate, one of the three police commissionerates covering Greater Hyderabad,
Speaking to reporters, Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar said that many cases had also been registered against Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd (QNet) and its promoters in different states.
The police have also served notices to actors Anil Kapoor, Shahrukh Khan, Boman Irani, Jackie Shroff, Vivek Oberoi, Pooja Hegde and Allu Sirish for participating in company's programmes. While Anil Kapoor, Shahruk Khan and Boman Irani have responded to the notices through their advocates, reply from other celebrities are being awaited. The response of the three celebrities was being studied, Sajjanar said.
"Notices have also been served on top 500 promoters of the scheme. Their replies are awaited," the police chief said.
He said it was a case of cheating by Vihaan, a franchisee of QI Group in India being marketed under the brand name of QNet. According to the police, Vihaan, formerly known as Gold Quest and Quest Net, is a Hong Kong-based direct selling/multi-level marketing (MLM) company owned by the QI Group. They were targeting software employees, unemployed youth and homemakers, he said.
Stating that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has initiated process of winding up Vihaan, Sajjanar appealed people not to join Qnet and also not to make any payments to Vihaan.
He said the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Bengaluru, had filed a petition in the Bengaluru Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for shutting Vihaan. The RoC had launched prosecutions against Vihaan for various violations of the Companies Act, 2013, he added.
Lookout circulars have been issued against 12 people associated with the company as directors and promoters. The Financial Frauds Victims Welfare Association claimed that the in the garb of direct selling and e-commerce, the company had sent over Rs 20,000 crore out of India.
Meanwhile, QNet has denied the allegations. In a statement on Tuesday, it said the public notice by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs was premised on the purported report of the RoC.
Terming the report fallacious, without merit and prepared without basis and understanding of the business, QNet said it had challenged the report at the appropriate judicial forum.
"QNet is an e-commerce-based leading Asian direct selling company, which markets high quality range of products in the categories of homecare, personalcare, skincare, health food supplements, watches and holiday packages. QNet operates in India through its sub-franchisee, Vihaan Direct Selling (India), which operates in full compliance of the direct selling guidelines issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs in September 2016," it said.
"Vihaan is fully compliant to Indian laws. Any commission earned by our distributors is based on the sale of products and the effort put in by the distributors," said Rishi Chandiok, Regional Director (South Asia), QNet.