QNet has not repaid Rs 22L, say victims' kin

Hyderabad: The six victims who died in the Swapnalok Complex fire had paid deposits amounting to Rs 22 lakh to QNet and its subsidiary, Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd — which was later found to be a fraudulent firm — for jobs. The company has not returned the money to the families.

M. Srinivas, a family member of one of the victims, who is representing the six victims, said that they came from lower-middle-class agriculture-dependent families.

“None of them knew that the company was fraudulent. They were trapped by the CEO of Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, Shiva Naga Malliah, and company manager Shravani Reddy,” Srinivas said.

“We contacted the incharge, R. Renuka, who assured that Rs 22 lakh will be refunded but later we came to know that she is also one of the victims,” he said.

Renuka said, “I have been trying to contact Shiva Naga Malliah and Shravani Reddy. After the police booked them, they have switched off their mobile phones and are absconding.”

The family members of the victims are now likely to file a complaint with the police against Vihaan Direct for causing the death of the six. They shared with Deccan Chronicle the struggle they went through to collect the money to deposit in the company’s account.

“With great difficulty, I managed to borrow and arranged Rs 2.7 lakh after my son G. Prashanth told me that it will be the turning point in his life,” G. Janardhan, victim Prashanth’s father, who is a farmer in Mahbubabad mandal of Warangal district, said.

Rama Rao, the father of Triveni, another victim, said: “I am familiar with all the families of the other victims. We are all innocent peasants and our sons and daughters only wanted to prove themselves but were trapped to death by Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, both financially and literally.”

Narsimha and Padma, parents of victim B. Sravani, said they mortgaged gold for their daughter’s investment, who assured them that she would be starting her own business soon.

“We all know that other children who died have also arranged the deposit money with great difficulty. We demand that the police take stern action against the owners of the company who are responsible for trapping our children that led to their death,” Padma said.

Swapnalok fire and Vihaan Direct: Status of investigation

  • Police hold Vikas Paper Flexo Packaging Limited responsible for the fire at Swapnalok, as flames that started on its premises — located opposite the office of Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd.
  • While the Central Crime Station is investigating the incident, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is looking into the money laundering and fraud aspects of Vihan Direct, the police said.
  • Over 10 persons have been taken for questioning.
  • On March 24, the ED raided three branches of Vihaan Direct in Hyderabad at Madhapur, Serilingampally and the fire-hit Swapnalok Complex.
  • The ED raided other branches in Bengaluru, Delhi and Chennai, booking 38 cases and freezing Rs 1.37 crore held in bank accounts of QNet and Vihaan Direct across India.
  • The ED and the CCS are on the lookout for QNet and Vihaan Direct founder Rajesh Khanna and his younger sibling Rajender Khanna.
  • Rajesh Khanna is also wanted by the city and Cyberabad police.
( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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