By Amin Kef Sesay
It has now become apparent in recent times that there has been a proliferation of reported cases of fraud said to be perpetrated by certain unscrupulous individuals who pose as agents of QNET International.
Capitalizing on the eagerness of young people to travel overseas in search of greener pasture, these unscrupulous individuals have been using the name of a legally functioning business entity, QNET International, to hoodwink and scam unsuspecting persons after giving them the impression that they will facilitate the easy travelling of a person wanting to relocate in an advanced country. At the end of the day the unsuspecting victims are fleeced of their hard earned money and left to wallow in their mistakes.
Few days ago some of these fraudsters, who fell out of luck and were apprehended appeared in one of the Magistrate Courts on Pademba Road for obtaining money under false pretext and according to the Prosecutor the accused persons were said to be employees of QNET in Sierra Leone. At the end of the court proceeding the accused persons were granted stiff bail, the conditions which they could not fulfill and therefore were remanded in Prison until the next adjourned date.
The frequency of such QNET related cases became so overwhelming to an extent that it prompted a thorough investigation into this business entity and how it is operating in the country.
From what was learnt, QNET is a business enterprise that offers customers an opportunity to choose to become “Independent Representatives” (IR) of the company with a start kit and an online office. IRs receive commissions after they introduce the products to six people, placing three people on their left and three people on their right, described as “two legs”.
When an IR introduces a new customer who then becomes an IR themselves, the original IR benefits (by receiving bonus points) from the success of their recruit. These bonus points build up on only one of the IR’s legs. The IR must then find recruits for the other leg in order to receive commissions.
It was also understood that QNET International is not registered in this country. What obtains is that there is a team here of Independent Representative that are representing the company and conducting marketing through the QNET website where all the products are displayed. It is this team that coordinates the sales of the company here in Sierra Leone.
The Independent Representatives operate on the basis of commissions and the more persons brought onboard plus the number of products marketed determine the percentage of commission to be earned.
It must be noted that throughout the period of investigation it came out vividly that QNET International has no room in its modus operandi of facilitating overseas travelling for any particular fee.
In other words it was clearly established that at no point in time in its existence has QNET International got involved in facilitating the travelling of people from one country to another.
What really became apparent was that there are certain individuals who are using the name of QNET International to scam unsuspecting individuals.
Again, what came to light was that certain individuals who have reported that they were duped did not really understand what a particular Independent Representative informed them about what the scheme entails before joining it. It is reported that when things do not go the way it is expected that some who had willingly opted to be part of the scheme raise an alarm not knowing that they were investing on purchasing the products to be marketed by them.
According to what was understood it is at this point that they raise an alarm that they have been scammed. This has been the thorny aspect in the whole arrangement.
However, it has been proven beyond reasonable doubts that the QNET scheme is real, legal, though without an office in Sierra Leone and it has benefitted some people.