Padma Bhushan awardee and former World Billiards Champion Michael Ferreira arrested
Michael Ferreira, the former billiards champion, has been arrested by the Hyderabad police, last week. The champion billiards player along with three other associates has been accused of a fraud of Rs 400-crore involving QNet, the multi-level-marketing company.
In the previous week, a police team from Hyderabad sought Ferreira and his associates' custody when they submitted an application in connection with the case registered by them. A court in Mumbai granted transit remand and the Hyderabadi police acted immediately.
According to the Economic Times (ET), a senior police official from the Central Crime Station (CCS) of Hyderabad Police revealed that the four accused had been brought to Mumbai after a warrant has been issued. He said, "The four directors of the company, including Michael Ferreira, have been brought to Hyderabad from Mumbai on a warrant."
The official also added, “They have been brought here as part of a further investigation and will be interrogated.”
Taken into custody by Economic Offences Wing on 30 September
The four alleged frauds were taken into custody by the Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on 30 September 2016. Ferreira, who won the Padma Bhushan in 1983, was remanded to EOW custody till October 13 and then was transited to judicial custody. So far, the EOW has arrested 19 persons who are believed to be guilty in connection to the QNet case.
Allegedly, QNet and its associate firms marketed products like herbal medicines, magnetic disks that have 'healing' properties and holiday schemes. While the company has been accused of duping the investors, they also face the allegation of having used the 'binary pyramid' model in its marketing schemes.
The FIR was registered under the Prize, Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 and Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act on August 2013 in Mumbai.
It was earlier informed by the special public prosecutor, Pradeep Gharat, that Ferreira held as much as 80 percent of the shares in a franchise of QNet which was based in Hong Kong.
Gharat also revealed that the company ran a 'Ponzi scheme', where they sought investments between Rs 30,000 to Rs. 7.5 lakh. The high returns that the investors were always promised never materialised as the money earned by QNet was diverted out the country through laundering. Gharat had also added that it was necessary to interrogate Ferreira to find its "destination"