Former World billiards champion Michael Ferreira was released from the Taloja Central Prison in Navi Mumbai Saturday morning. Ferreira and Malcom Desai, accused in a multi-level marketing scam, were granted bail by the Supreme Court last month.
Two others, including Manganlal Bajaj and Vanka Srinivas, both directors of Vihaan Direct Selling (Pvt) Ltd, were released too. Bajaj and Srinivas, along with Qnet employee Aditi Mitra, were granted bail by the special court in Mumbai on March 30 on the grounds of parity with the SC order. While Mitra was released from Byculla women’s prison last week, Ferreira and the three men walked out of Taloja jail Saturday to waiting family and friends after spending around six months inside.
Advocate Sandeep Karnik said the formalities for bail had been completed by Ferreira and others, after which they were allowed to leave the jail.
Ferreira had surrendered before the special court on September 30, 2016, after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Supreme Court on September 23. The EOW had claimed that Ferreira was part of a conspiracy that cheated investors as he was an 80 per cent shareholder in the Vihaan Direct Selling (Pvt) Ltd. While the sessions court had rejected his anticipatory bail in 2014, he was arrested only in 2016 as he had approached higher courts against the order.
The special court under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act had rejected the 78-year-old’s bail in December last year. The Economic Offences Wing had registered a case against Qnet on the allegations of duping investors.