Investors duped by marketing firm in Chennai

May 6th, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, May 6 (IANS) At least 1,500 people, duped by a multi-level marketing (MLM) firm, queued up at the police commissioner’s office here Tuesday to lodge complaints, officials said. A separate counter was set up to receive complaints against Quest Net, eyewitnesses told IANS.

Police sources said the number of complaints increased vastly following television channels’ broadcasting the issue.

So far, gold worth Rs.235 million has been seized and seven employees of the company have been arrested since Saturday when action was initiated against the firm.

Scores of complainants have alleged they were taken in by the pep talk by the company’s sales staff.

“Not only did I sell my business, but also I pledged jewels of my mother, sister and wife to join the business. Further, I introduced others into this, believing in the scheme and helped them borrow money from banks to the tune of Rs. 100,000. Now we have lost everything,” said Manikandan, a carpenter who lodged a complaint.

“Believing that I was scheduled to get huge returns after receiving a cheque for Rs.2,300, I introduced 30 others who have cumulatively lost over Rs.200,000,” said A. Lakshmi, a resident of the northern suburbs here.

Gold Quest, the parent company of the MLM firm based in Hong Kong, however, has denied any wrongdoing, claiming it was involved in a legitimate commercial enterprise in over 100 countries.

The entity has been banned in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines. Action has been initiated against it in Bangalore as well, police sources added.

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