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Involvement in Rs425 crore multi-level marketing scam causes QNET websites to be blocked

Friday, 23 May 2014 - 6:50am IST | Agency: dna

In a major setback to multi-level marketing company QNET, the Indian Computer Emergency Response team (CERT) has blocked several websites of the company. The company is allegedly involved in the Rs425 crore multi-level marketing scam, which is been investigated by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police.

According to an official with EOW, a request was made to the CERT around four months ago to block the websites. However, there was no positive response, which left the police with no option but to approach the court. On the basis of the application made by the EOW in 47th Esplanade court, an order was issued for blocking these web sites/servers and CERT was asked to execute the order. Following the orders, these sites have been blocked for indulging in online illegal money circulation schemes.

The complainant in the case, Gurpreet Singh Anand said, "I am happy that the website has been finally blocked, it should have happened earlier, but it is, nevertheless, a positive step forward." He further added "their main website www.Qnet.net has also been banned, as this company has duped many people."

QNet has been trying to operate in India under various names for several years. For the last two years, it has been operating through Bengaluru-based Vihaan Direct Market Selling, a franchise of Hong Kong-based company QNet that was indulging in a scheme wherein existing members are required to bring in more members. The company has till date reportedly made Rs425crore through its activities, which include selling of cosmetic and other products, as well as attracting as many members as possible.

The EOW has arrested nine team leaders of QNet for allegedly duping investors by offering to sell products like magnetic disks, herbal products and holiday schemes through fraudulent practices. QNet has also been accused of using the banned binary pyramid business model for their multi-level marketing schemes to entice investors. The accused have been charged with cheating and forgery under relevant sections of the Prize, Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978.

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