Indian authorities have frozen $16 million tied to QNet. The freeze order is part of a new QNet criminal case, initiated in Hyderabad on March 23rd.

The new criminal case follows a fire at a QNet sweatshop in Swapnalok Complex on March 17th, which claimed the lives of five promoters.

A week after the fire, a friend of one of the deceased filed a complaint against QNet with police on March 22nd.

On Wednesday, one of the victims, B. Sravani’s friend Madis Naveen, submitted a written complaint to Mahankali police station stating that he had deposited Rs 1.60 lakh (~$1940 USD) in June 2022 with Q-Net.

Center heads K. Shiva and N. Vijaya told him that he would get between Rs 30,000 and Rs 60,000 per month as profit and his deposited amount would remain intact, the complaint said.

Naveen said that Q-Net neither refunded the deposit nor gave any incentives as promised.

The Times of India additionally reports that police in Hyderabad have now received complaints from 25 QNet promoters.

Manhankali Police charged Shiva and Vijaya, who were arrested and taken into custody.

Under interrogation, Shiva and Vijaya gave up Rajesh Khanna, who they claim is “the main conspirator and owner of Q-Net”.

During the preliminary investigation, the police came to know that Rajesh Khanna is also the actual owner of MLM Q-Net that was banned by the state CID over eight years ago after receiving several complaints, sources said.

QNet operates in India under the name Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd. The pyramid scheme is promoted in Hyderabad as “V-Empire”.

I’m assuming Khanna’s ownership is limited to QNet India’s operations. QNet as a whole is owned by Malaysian national Vijay Eswaran (right).

Police have managed to get Rajesh Khanna’s mobile number and are tracking him.

Subsequently, the police team is also checking his bank transactions and other similar MLMs operated by him in other states.

On March 30th The Times of India reported 137 crore (~$16 million USD) had been seized from Vihaan Direct Selling.

The freeze order follows recent ED searches in various locations linked to QNet in Hyderabad and Bengaluru from where officials seized several documents and digital devices.

The 137 crore frozen by ED is spread over 50 bank accounts across the country and belongs to multiple entities connected with the case.

Back in January Indian authorities announced $11 million tied to QNet had been frozen. The MLM company has multiple active criminal cases filed against it across India.

While overall traffic to QNet’s website is down, as of February 2023 SimilarWeb still tracks the majority of it originating from India (33%, up 14% month on month).

For their part, Malaysian authorities have failed to take action against QNet since it was founded in 1998.