Former world billiards champion Michael Ferreira on Thursday sought a day’s time to surrender in connection with the QNET cheating case.
Last week, the Supreme Court had refused to give any relief to Ferreira and the other accused after they field an anticipatory bail plea. The apex court had directed the five accused — Ferreira, Malcolm Desai, owners of Vihaan, Srinivas Rao Vanka and Magaral Veervalli Balaji, directors of Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd, Suresh Thimiri, director of Transview Enterprises India Pvt Ltd — to surrender within a week. The accused also moved the Bombay high court for quashing the complaint. However, the court asked them to surrender before the special court.
Accordingly on Wednesday, Ferreira’s lawyer Sandeep Karnik moved a bail application in the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act court pleading that he would surrender on Thursday morning. A of the same copy was given to the special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharath as well. On Thursday evening, Ferreira appeared before the court with his counsel Abad Ponda and pleaded that he has time to surrender till night as the apex court, while rejecting his anticipatory bail plea, gave a week’s time to surrender. Though Gharath objected to the same, the court allowed the request and told Ferreira that he can surrender either a the police station or in the court.
Ferreira and his other associates were directors of Vihaan Direct Selling India (Pvt) Ltd, which was running and operating the illegal money circulation scheme under the name and style of QNET — previously known as Questnet in India. Nearly 5 lakhs investors from across the country were duped in this scam. QNET has been accused of using the banned binary pyramid business model for their multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes to lure investors.
The prosecution alleged that they educed people to become members of their company by purchasing their products online. Later they were asked to make more members for which they would pay these members huge commission.