Indian authorities freeze $11 million tied to QNet
Indian authorities have frozen $11 million dollars they allege is part of a money laundering racket tied to QNet.
As per a January 18th report from MoneyLife;
Enforcement Directorate (ED), the agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India, has freezed 36 bank accounts relating to various companies, individuals and proprietorships connected with Vihaan Direct Selling India Pvt Ltd.
QNet is a Malaysian MLM company run by Vijay Eswaran (right).
QNet operates outside of Malaysia through various shell companies.
In india QNet operates through Vihaan Direct Selling India Pvt Ltd.
The ED claims to have frozen over Rs90 crore, which comes to $11 million USD. Accompanying the seizure were raids on properties in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
The original case filed by Indian authorities against QNet dates back to 2014. As per BehindMLM’s QNet review, the company operates as an autoship recruitment pyramid scheme.
QNet has a turbulent history in India, despite regular attempts to regulate the scam.
- in April 2018 victims of QNet staged a protest in Bengaluru over inaction by authorities;
- in January 2019 Indian authorities declared QNet a threat to national security;
- in March 2019 several Indian celebrities were summoned to explain their endorsement of QNet;
- in August 2019 an Indian QNet distributor committed suicide after going into debt trying to work the business;
- in August 2019 Indian authorities declared QNet a pyramid scheme but prematurely announced the company had been shut down nationally; and
- in October 2019 three QNet distributors were arrested in Hyderabad
MoneyLife documents earlier QNet clashes with authorities predating 2018.
And despite all of this, India remains the largest source of QNet’s website traffic. In December 2022 SimilarWeb attributed 40% of all QNet website traffic to India.
Whether the latest seizures have any effect on the spread of QNet throughout India remains to be seen.
For their part Malaysian authorities have failed to take action against QNet since it was founded in 1998.