He was allegedly involved in the Rs.425-crore QNet scam and didn’t turn up when summoned by the crime branch earlier
Three weeks after issuing summons, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai's crime branch on Thursday issued a lookout notice against Billiards champion Michael Ferreira for his alleged involvement in the Rs. 425-crore QNet scam.
Ferreira is a former world billiards champion and a Padma awardee, who was summoned by the EOW, in connection with the multi-crore marketing scam.
The billiards player was told to be present before the EOW sleuths to record his statement in the ongoing probe into QNet. However, Ferreira did not appear and the EOW issued the lookout notice on Thursday, informed an EOW officer, requesting anonymity.
Hitherto, the EOW has arrested around nine people in the case. All the accused are charged with cheating, forgery and under relevant sections of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.
According to the police, QNet lured investors with schemes involving investments between Rs.30,000 and Rs.7 lakh, said the police. It posed as a marketing firm which would sell bio-discs, watches, herbal products, holiday packages etc.
The multi-level marketing firm, QNet, duped thousands of investors by selling them plastic and glass products terming them as miraculous objects for treating severe diseases like cancer.
In August 2013, the EOW had registered a case against the company and its employees. Investigators had mentioned five names of the accused in the FIR, in which one Vijay Eswaran is the brain behind the entire scam.
The company, which had been selling its product through qnetindia.in had its headquarters in Hong Kong. Soon after the FIR was registered, a police team visited Bengaluru to trace the culprits.
Ferreira, born and brought up in Mumbai, had earned the nicknamed ‘the Bombay Tiger’, and is a notable amateur player of English billiards from India. He had participated in the Indian National Billiards Championship in 1960 for the first time and in 1964 represented India in the World Amateur Billiards Championship (WABC) held in New Zealand, where he reached to the semi-finals. Ferreira was awarded the Padma Shri award in 1981, after he had won his second world amateur title. But he refused to accept this and contended that as cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was offered the more prestigious Padma Bhushan award, he too should be awarded the same.