Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the state Crime Branch (CB) Tuesday arrested three partners of a multi-level marketing (MLM) firm on charges of duping gullible investors of crores of rupees after promising them hefty returns.
Sarat Kumar Parida of Brahmeswarpatna, Debabrata Harichandan of Chandrasekharpur and Chandan Kumar Mahalik of Jagannath Vihar, all residents of Bhubaneswar and partners in Q Net Limited as well as M/s Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Private Limited, were taken into custody on the basis of EOW case No 17 registered under Sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120B of IPC, 4, 5 and 6 of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978 and 6 of the OPID Act 2011, an EOW press note read.
The trio, along with others, were said to have hatched a criminal conspiracy with the directors of Q Net Limited through its franchisee M/s Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Private Limited and persuaded depositors to invest in the firm with promise of handsome returns.
“The accused used to give rosy pictures of a few bogus schemes of the firm like Rs 50 crore returns within five years with an investment of Rs 5 lakh,” the note read.
It added that they were functioning in a pyramid structure.
“A new entrant will deposit the amount into the account of upline members. The money so deposited would pass through several levels before reaching the firm’s account. Following this modus operandi, the accused had collected huge sum of money on behalf of the firm and received their commission,” an EOW source said.
The EOW sleuths carried out searches and made the arrests. “Many incriminating documents, brochures, receipts of the firm, identity cards, money receipts and list of investors have been seized during the searches,” said the note.