QNet: India Post and Blue Dart Stop Courier Services to Vihaan Direct Selling after RoC Letter
Moneylife Digital Team 18 March 2024
QNet, the controversial multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme and its franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd received another jolt from courier service-providers. Following a letter from the registrar of companies (RoC), India Post and Blue Dart have decided to stop providing parcel services to Vihaan Direct Selling. 
 
Last month, the senior superintendent of post offices from Bengaluru east division sent a letter to the post offices in the region asking them to "withhold services (provided to Vihaan) due to several criminal cases and ongoing legal proceedings (against Vihaan)."
 
"...as per the instructions received from the regional office (RO), the renewal of agreement with Vihaan Direct Selling and booking of parcels to be put on hold as RoC has intimated that several criminal cases are filed against the company (Vihaan) in different courts and investigated by various agencies for the fraudulent activities carried out by the company," the letter says. 
 
 
Welcoming the move, VC Sajjanar, additional director general of police (ADGP), Telangana, says, "The steps taken by the govt of India and private companies like Blue Dart against Ponzi schemes like QNet scam are highly appreciated. Beware of such Ponzi schemes. Don't enrol in such schemes and scams #SayNoToMLM in India, avoid further deaths and suicides."
 
 
After probing the QNet scam, the 1996 batch officer from the Indian Police Service (IPS) had taken action against the MLM company and its agents. When Mr Sajjanar was the commissioner of police, the Cyberabad city police had arrested 58 independent representatives (IRs) of QNet for their involvement in 14 cases of fraud and cheating worth Rs1,000 crore. (Read: QNet: Cyberabad Police Arrests 58 Members of the MLM in Fraud and Cheating Cases Worth Rs1,000 Crore)  
 
Last week, the Financial Frauds Victims Welfare Association (FFVWA) urged the Union government and private organisations to stop the supply chain of QNet. At a press conference at Hyderabad, Gurupreet Singh Anand, the original complainant in the QNet scam, shared a transit slip of a parcel sent through TCI Express to a customer in Bengaluru. 
 
He says while India Post and Blue Dart terminated their contract with Vihaan Direct Selling, Hyderabad-based TCI Express still provides the courier service to the MLM. FFVWA had shared all details, including letters from the RoC and India Post, but TCI Express has not yet stopped its courier services to Vihaan, he added.
 
Last year in January, the directorate of enforcement (ED) froze 36 bank accounts relating to various companies, individuals and proprietorships connected with Vihaan Direct Selling. ED says it conducted searches at multiple locations in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai in relation to the money laundering case of Vihaan Direct Selling and froze a total of 36 bank accounts with amounts involving more than Rs90 crore. (Read: QNet: ED Freezes 36 Bank Accounts Connected to Vihaan Direct Selling in a Money Laundering Case)
 
In 2014, ED had registered a case in the Rs425 crore QNet scam for money laundering. ED named QNet Ltd from Hong Kong, its official franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling, Vijay Eswaran, the founder of QI group and three other independent representatives (IRs) of QNet from Mumbai.
 
In August 2019, the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) and the department of consumer affairs under the ministry of consumer affairs, food & public distribution initiated the filing of a winding-up petition against Vihaan Direct Selling, a franchise of controversial MLM operator QNet.
 
Earlier, on 6 May 2016, justice Mridula Bhatkar of the Bombay High Court, while rejecting the anticipatory bail applications of five accused in the multi-crore QNet scam, had observed that "the deceit and fraud is camouflaged under the name of e-marketing and business". The HC rejected the bail applications of five including, 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 a 20% stakeholder in Vihaan and Michael Joseph Ferreira, former world champion of billiards and an 80% stakeholder in Vihaan. (Read: QNet: "It is a chain where a person is fooled and then he is trained to fool others to earn money" says Bombay HC order)
 
As reported by Moneylife, QuestNet and GoldQuest (previous avatars of QNet), the MLM companies that had shut shop in 2009 following police action, are back with a bigger bang. They now call themselves as QNet and are thriving in an environment where tens of thousands of Ponzis and MLM companies are able to lure people into believing that they have the formula for instant riches and a high-growth career.
 
QNet operates in India through its official franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd which carries the company's brand name in the country. However, 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!
 
Moneylife has consistently reported on the larger MLMs for over a decade. (Multi-Level Marketing: Con Quest) The most notorious among these, such as Malaysia-based QNet (QNet: The "money game" played by MLMs to lure the gullible), bounces back after every crackdown in a different avatar and employs various tactics to intimidate or co-opt people.
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