The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday claimed to have freezed deposits worth Rs 90 crore belonging to Vihaan Direct Selling India Private Limited, a master franchisee company of Qnet Ltd in India, in connection with a case registered against it under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ED freezed the deposits after conducting nationwide raid on January 17.
Vihaan was allegedly running a Ponzi scheme in the guise of direct selling. It has routed more than Rs 2,000 crore through shell companies.
During the searches, the central agency freezed Rs 90 crore deposited in 36 bank accounts relating to various entities and persons.
It initiated a Money Laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR lodged by EOW Mumbai against Qnet Ltd, Vijay Eswaran, Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt. Ltd. and other companies and individuals.
“During the investigation, it is revealed that the Vihaan Direct Selling India Pvt. Ltd, a master franchise of Qnet in India has used, floated various shell companies and dummy proprietorship for routing the funds received from the huge number of innocent investors. Vihaan Direct Selling India Pvt. Ltd has duped a huge number of innocent investors in India by way of investing their hard-earned money in the Ponzi scheme in the guise of direct selling business,” said the official.
Various investors were duped of their hard-earned money in the guise of huge profits without informing them the nature of business and the details of utilisation of their invested money.
As per FIR registered by Mumbai Police, total estimated Proceeds of Crime is about Rs 400 crore.
However, during the course of investigation, it has been observed that more than Rs 2000 crore has been routed by way of opening various shell companies by these entities.
The search operation was conducted across the nation, five locations at Mumbai, two locations at Bengaluru, two locations at Chennai.
Several incriminating documents and digital devices were seized during the search.
Further investigation in the matter is on.