The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police have issued lookout notice against former world billiards champion Michael Ferreira for his alleged involvement in a marketing scam.
Padma Bhushan awardee Ferreira had earlier been summoned by the EOW in connection with the alleged Rs 425-crore QNet scam.
We have issued the lookout notice as he did not turn up for questioning three weeks ago when we had called him, said a police officer.
In the second week of December,the EOW had served summons to 75-year-old Ferreira,directing him to appear before them to quiz him about his association with the scam-hit company.
Till now,EOW has arrested nine people in this case,who have been charged with cheating,forgery and under relevant sections of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act,1978.
QNet allegedly lured investors with schemes involving investments between Rs 30,000 and Rs 7 lakh,claiming to be a marketing firm selling watches,bio and herbal products,holiday packages etc.
QNet has also been accused of using the banned binary pyramid business model for its multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes to entice investors.
The lookout notice means a person is wanted by police either for questioning or for arrest in a case. It is circulated at all immigration checks at international borders (like international airports or sea ports) and as soon as the person is spotted,the authorities concerned are notified.
Ferreira,who was abroad on December 17,had said he would appear before the investigators as soon as he returned to India. EOW officers said they did not know if he was back in Mumbai or still abroad.
Ferreira had described the allegations against him defrauding people through QNet as outrageous,malicious and untruthful.
Meanwhile,in response to allegations made against QNet and its local franchisee,its spokesperson (India) Ajay Chanam said,The situation surrounding QNet in India,particularly in Mumbai,appears to be some form of orchestrated sustained attack to undermine our reputation and prevent us from competing fairly and openly in India.
He said QNet was carrying out its own internal investigations into the allegations.
We will take immediate and strong legal action against those who have sought to harm the company and its affiliates and will pursue the parties for damages, he added.