The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police arrested a woman in her early 30s on Thursday for her active involvement in the multi-crore QNet scam. The total number of arrested accused has now reached 47, which includes Billiards champion and Padma Bhushan recipient Michael Ferreira.
In the Rs 1,000-crore scam of Hong Kong-based company QNet, nearly 5 lakh investors across the country were duped. QNet has been accused of using the banned binary pyramid business model for its multi-level marketing schemes to lure investors.
QNet posed as a marketing firm selling bio-discs, watches, herbal products, holiday packages, etc. It also claimed that by using the bio-disc, one could cure cancer and brain diseases, the police said.
Too much baggage
Accused Aditi Mitra was intercepted at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, and subsequently, arrested based on the lookout circular that had been issued against her.
Assistant commissioner of police Arun Jadhav confirmed her arrest said she was sent to police custody till March 23.
Mitra was allegedly trying to flee to Dubai for good. She was carrying eight big bags and two handbags. Of the eight, two contained her belongings; she refused to say what was in the other six, sources said.
Mitra, an independent representative associated with QNet, had been getting hefty commissions in return. She has multiple bank accounts, with one alone having Rs 25 lakh, as EOW officials found, adding that all her bank accounts have been frozen.
Investigators found that on the instructions of the other accused, Mitra was actively involved in the scam. She had brainwashed victims in order to induce them to invest in the scheme,” said special public prosecutor Pradip Gharat.
A victim, Sewri resident Arpita Majarekar, said, “She would conduct welcome sessions in malls and trap people with her sweet talk.
She had promised me and many others that if we invested in the scheme, we would get double the amount in three years.” Majarekar, who works in a private firm in Andheri, had invested nearly Rs 12.5 lakh in the scheme through Mitra.
She has been booked under relevant sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Act, Prize, Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, and the Indian Penal Code.