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Money-making scheme under EOW probe

QNET organisers might have collected about Rs 400 crore by seeking an entry fee to become a multi-millionaire

Sachin P Mampatta  |  Mumbai 

Rupees image via Shutterstock.com

A controversial marketing scheme, which offers individuals the alleged opportunity to make Rs 4-5 crore within a few years, with a minimum investment of a little less than Rs 2 lakh, could have collected about Rs 400 crore.

The company, QNET, has recruited 30,000 people as part of its business in India, according to two sources. All of them pay an amount upfront to become part of the company, said two sources.

“The minimum amount is usually Rs 1.5 lakh. It can go up to Rs 15 lakh,” said one. Lower amounts are rare, with 95 per cent of the people having paid at least Rs 1.5 lakh, the person added. The company actually said it had recruited a little over 68,000 people as part of its business in India, though it maintained there were no sign-up fees. A rough calculation at even the lower estimate puts the minimum amount collected at Rs 435 crore.

Ajay Chanam, official spokesperson, in India, maintained there were no sign-up fees but a purchase might be required. This, in the company's words, may be in the form of the sale of a qualifying product to a retail customer or by the new representative making a qualifying purchase to validate a Tracking Centre or a “slot in QNET's computer system”.

WHAT IS
  • Positions itself as a direct selling company
  • Initial minimum investment of Rs 1.5 lakh
  • Says people can make Rs 4-5 crore in a few years provided they 'work hard'
  • Sources say 30,000 people already a part of the scheme
  • Company might have collected in excess of Rs 400 cr
  • Economic Offences Wing probing a complaint against the firm, has frozen accounts

"We have over 68,000 distributors of our products (known as Independent Representatives or IRs) in India," said Chanam. He maintained the company was not involved in iany llegal activity.

Business Standard met IRs directly and also spoke with at least two people who had been approached by the company.

Representatives for the company claim individuals can make Rs 4-5 crore in a few years through direct selling, provided they “work hard”.

The group website says it was founded in 1998 and describes itself as an e-commerce conglomerate, which makes use of the internet to connect with customers. It claims regional offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines. It also claims a wide range of subsidiary companies in nearly 30 countries.

The economic offences wing (EOW) of the police here is probing a complaint against the company for selling ‘miraculous products’, with the alleged power to cure cancer and other diseases, according to reports. The police has already arrested a person in this connection and frozen a couple of bank accounts, they said.

“The matter is under investigation and we are, therefore, unable to comment further. We are cooperating with the authorities and are fully confident we will be exonerated soon,” said Chanam. Other products with links to ‘alternative’ therapies are also found on its website. One product claims to improve water by pouring it over a disc. The Amezcua Bio Disc 2 is said to have a ‘greatly enhanced energy field, attributed to the seven wave-form rings on the disc’s surface.’

“The seven ribbed rings speed up the biomolecular structure process of liquids poured over the disc, improving the biocompatibility of water molecules with your body more than ever before. The liquids are energised faster and more efficiently via the wave-form produced by the rings,” said the product note on the company’s website. The group also claims investments in diverse sectors, including telecommunications, banking and television & broadcast media. It also claims real estate holdings encompassing commercial and retail properties, as well as interests in entertainment and hospitality.

First Published: Thu, August 29 2013. 22:46 IST
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