QNET, a leading international direct selling company, has thrown its weight behind the move by the Attorney-General to dissolve companies that are impersonating QNET International, conducting fraudulent business activities and misrepresenting the company in Ghana.
QNET not Q-NET
The company is completely different from Quest Net or Q-NET Investment Limited (emphasis on the hyphen).
“The name Quest Net does not refer to nor is meant to refer to QNET.
They are effectively entities which are entirely separate and distinct and with no relationship or incorporation internationally,” a statement from QNET said.
The statement said QNET, continuingly, had been in touch with the relevant authorities to clarify its stand.
The company, therefore, condemned the actions of the unscrupulous individuals and their bad practices, which “we wholly dissociate ourselves and our business dealings from.”
The company also explained that whenever its attention was drawn to unethical or illegal actions of IRs, QNET took punitive actions against them. That included termination or suspension of the IR.
In addition, the company lodged complaints against IRs who committed crimes against innocent individuals with the police.
Law-abiding and socially-responsible QNET runs a social impact arm, RYTHM Foundation, which partners with many charity projects across the world to empower less-privileged and physically-impaired people.
“In Ghana, QNET is actively supporting the Anopa Project, providing deaf and blind children with access to education and sporting skills,” the statement said.
QNET said it was always available to offer clarification and assistance to all authorities and the media regarding any issue about its business.
Through its “MAMA Campaign”, QNET has also embarked on a sensitisation programme to educate the public about QNET, its business model and the need to be wary of fraudsters or impersonators.
The Hong Kong-based QNET, through its grassroots business model fuelled by the power of e-commerce, has helped empower millions of entrepreneurs in more than 100 countries worldwide.
The company has a presence in more than 25 countries around the world through subsidiaries, branch offices, agency partnerships and franchisees.
In a judgment dated July 20, this year, the court, presided over by Justice Jennifer Abena Dadzi, upheld the arguments made by the A-G.
“It is hereby ordered that the respondent, Q-NET, be and is hereby wound up,” the presiding judge upheld.
Aside from dissolving Q-NET, the court also restrained the directors, members and officers of the company from exercising any powers that pertained to the running of the company under the then Companies Act, 1963, Act 179, under which QNET was incorporated.
The directors are Martin Luther King Dagoro and Jerry Dagoro.
The court further granted the A-G an order to appoint the Registrar of Companies, in her capacity as Official Liquidator, to exercise the powers of a liquidator, including managing the assets of Q-NET, pending the making of a winding order by the court.
“In this regard, the money obtained by the respondent from its activities represents proceeds of crime and I find that the failure of the respondent to explain the nature of its activities and what it was doing with the money so collected from the public, short of laundering the money, is itself indicative of the company operating in an illegal or inherently objectionable manner,” the court held.
In the petition, filed under the Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Act, 2020 (Act 1015), Section 84 (1) of Act 1015, the A-G said investigations by the National Security Council Secretariat disclosed that Q-NET operated in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme by luring clients to make deposits and investments with the company, which they eventually lost.
Mr Dame indicated that Q-NET mainly operated in the Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Ahafo regions and engaged in various “fraudulent schemes”, such as inviting the public to buy products for outrageous and non-existent profits.
The petitioner averred that to become a member of the false schemes put in place by Q-NET, the company required prospective subscribers to purchase various online items for various sums ranging between GH¢5,000 and GH¢15,000.
He further said investigations indicated that Q-NET also took money from people with the false representation that the company could help them find jobs.
“The respondent lured unsuspecting members of the public to pay about GH¢5,000 for the purpose of placing them in various jobs, which turned out to be a hoax,” the petition added.
After taking the money, the A-G said, the company would orchestrate the arrest of its victims who tried to make noise about its “fraudulent activities”.
Mr Dame further contended that the activities of Q-NET were mostly dominated by Nigerians, Burkinabes, Ivorians, Malians and Togolese who laundered the proceeds from their illegal activities.
“The widespread criminality and illegality in which the respondent is being operated have grossly undermined its existence in the Ghanaian community,” he added.
He said investigations showed that Q-NET was part of Quest International, also known as the QI Group, located in Hong Kong and operating in many countries.
Despite the petition and all hearing notices and documentary evidence being duly served on Q-NET, the company failed to enter an appearance and did not file any answer to the petition.
Reacting to the judgement, Mr Dame vowed that the government would go after firms operating in such a manner in the country.