Zaheer Merchant, Director of Corporate Affairs for QNet, released the following statement in response to allegations made against the company and its local franchise:
"QNet operates internationally to the highest possible standards. Strict codes of conduct exist and policies and procedures are reinforced by training so that each of our many thousand Independent Representatives [IRs] understands the rules governing product sales and abide by the ethical codes of practice we follow.
Whenever we are informed that any of our regulations have been broken we investigate these thoroughly. In appropriate cases, stern action is taken.
"The situation surrounding QNet in India and in Mumbai particularly appears to be some form of orchestrated sustained attack on the company to undermine our reputation and prevent us from competing fairly and openly in India.
The manner in which an alleged unmerited claim of fraud, which itself has not and cannot be substantiated, has been used to arrest staff, freeze assets and threaten criminal proceedings does not bear up to scrutiny.
We are confident that as the true facts emerge the aggressive and calculated attack on QNet will be apparent to all and appropriate action will be taken".
"QNet is carrying out its own independent investigations and is making rapid progress in understanding the true circumstances and motivations in this 'corporate raid'. We will take immediate and strong legal action against those who have sought to harm the company and will pursue the parties for damages wherever we find due cause."
Facts about the allegations around QNet in India
In April 2013, Parmeet Kaur, wife of computer consultant Gurupreet Singh Anand, filed a complaint against QNet and its local franchisor Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt. Ltd. [‘Vihaan’] at Oshiwara Police Station in Mumbai.
The complaint alleged that three representatives of Vihaan sold Parmeet Kaur a bio-disc which would be able to 'help her son's brain damage'. The three representatives deny misrepresenting any product to Parmeet Kaur as this would be in breach of the agreement they signed with Vihaan. Company records indicate that Parmeet Kaur did not agree to purchase a bio-disc but signed up for an educational course. This was cancelled by her husband along with the cheque.
The three representatives who allegedly misrepresented matters were not amongst those subsequently arrested for fraud.
The original complaint made by Parmeet Kaur was withdrawn on 18th May 2013. The fact Parmeet Kaur's cheque to pay for the product was cancelled was cited in the police's closing report which clearly shows that Parmeet Kaur was not a victim.
On 18th August 2013 (3 months after the original complaint was deemed not to be a crime) the complaint was refiled by Parmeet Kaur's husband, Gurupreet Singh Anand. This is in spite of the fact that no money changed hands between Parmeet Kaur and Vihaan and there has been no other change in circumstances. Gurupreet Singh Anand confirmed in interview he cancelled the purchase before any product, as he claims, was received. This matter was recorded as a 'No Crime' by the Police when first reported and there has been no further change in this position. Independent legal review confirms there is no evidence of any crime.
On 22nd August 2013, as a result of this complaint by Anand, the offices of Vihaan in Mumbai and Bangalore were raided by police officers. Several million dollars of assets were frozen and eight mid-level team leaders, including two couples, were arrested and held without charge for seventeen days. Furthermore, several senior managers of QNet and Vihaan Direct and world billiards champion Michael Ferreira have been subjected to the threat of arrest.
Those who misled the police or conspired and promoted the arrests, the freezing of substantial funds and assets based on a transaction, which didn't actually take place, will be subject of both criminal and civil complaints and litigation, the nature of which is presently under review.
- QNET is a leading direct selling company, offering meaningful products in diverse markets. QNet works with people in more than 100 countries.
- QNet has always complied with local regulations in any country it has operated in and contributes to numerous philanthropic activities.
- QNET's grass-roots business model enables ordinary people from all walks of life to start their own business with minimal overhead. With hard work and dedication, QNET distributors, known as Independent Representatives (IRs) have the opportunity to become economically self-sufficient, raising the standard of life for their families and communities.
- QNet currently operates in India through Vihaan.
- QNet operates under a strict code of conduct: http://www.qnetindia.in/en/footer/code_of_ethics/
- QNet has a clear Earnings and Income Disclaimer: