Hyderabad Police arrested former world billiards champion Michael Ferreira and three others in a multi-crore illegal marketing scheme, media reports said on Wednesday.
The arrest comes two weeks after Ferreira surrendered before a Mumbai court but the Padma Bhushan awardee reportedly didn’t cooperate with investigators. The Supreme Court has also refused any relief to Ferreira and the other accused. His police custody with the economic offences wing of the Mumbai Police ended last Thursday.
The sportsperson and three others were directors of Vihaan Direct Selling India (Pvt) Ltd, which is accused of running and operating an illegal money circulation scheme under the name of QNET — previously known as Questnet in India.
Investigators say nearly 500,000 investors across India were duped by the promoters of QNET, which allegedly used a banned business model for their marketing schemes to lure investors.
The prosecution says QNET attracted investment from people by promising them huge commissions to enroll new investors into the firm, or offered them fraudulent investment schemes. In 2016, eight alleged victims complained to the police.
Other than Ferreira, the other accused are Malcolm Desai, owner of Vihaan, Srinivas Rao Vanka and Magaral Veervalli Balaji, directors of Vihaan, and Suresh Thimiri, director of Transview Enterprises India Pvt Ltd.