Swapnalok fire victims are employees of Q-Net
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Syed Omar Farooq
HYDERABAD: The Mahankali police on Friday registered a case against three companies housed on the fifth floor of the Swapnalok Complex in Secunderabad for the fatal fire on Thusday, and discovered that QNet Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, which is under an Enforcement Directorate probe, was running a unit in the building, and that all victims of the fire mishap were employees of the multi-level marketing firm and had paid a deposit to it.
The fire broke out at Swapnalok Complex at 7.15 pm on Thursday night, trapping all six victims inside the QNet office in B-Block, Flats 510 and 511 on the complex's fifth floor.
The CLUES team confirmed that the six victims died as a result of the deadly carbon monoxide emitted from the two offices opposite the Q-Net office. The fire started at Kedia Infotech Ltd and spread to Vikas Paper Flexo Packaging Ltd. According to police sources, the victims died after being exposed to the dark carbon monoxide smoke.
"We will take appropriate action against Swapnalok Suryakiran Establishment Association, Kedia Infotech Limited, Vikas Paper Flexo Packaging Limited, and QNet Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd for failing to implement necessary security and fire safety measures," a senior police officer told Deccan Chronicle.
"Based on a complaint filed by P. Srinivas, the supervisor of the Swapnalok Complex, we filed cases under the Explosives Substance Act of 1984 under crime number 49/2023. We filed cases under the Sections 304 Part-II, 324, and 420 IPC and Section 9(b) of the Explosives Substances Act of 1884," Mahakali inspector Kaveti Srinivas said.
According to sources, senior officers of MLM Q-Net Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, Shiva and Nanodono Vijaya, were being questioned. They revealed that the Q-Net multi-level marketing firm had received lakhs of rupees in deposits from hundreds of clients.
The police officials also stated that they were awaiting reports from the CLUES team as well as the fire department for further investigation. During the preliminary investigation, it was found that a short-circuit caused the fire mishap as well as the explosions of compressors of air conditioners.
It may be noted that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials had in January conducted searches at various locations in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai in connection with money laundering involving the Vihaan Direct Selling India Private Limited, a master franchisee company of QNet Ltd in India.
Tweeting about the raids on January 18, the ED had claimed that it had frozen a total 36 bank accounts relating to various companies, individuals, proprietorship connected with the case with amounts involving more than Rs 90 crore.
In 2014, the ED had also registered a money laundering case in the Rs 425 crore QNet scam and named QNet Ltd from Hong Kong, and its franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling and three other independent representatives of QNet from Mumbai.