Two agents of Qnet have been arrested by the Adweso District Police Command in the Eastern Region for allegedly holding a 26-year-old hostage and used him to defraud his Mother and Pastor.
The suspects are Pafio Agordo,20, and Wisdom Korda, 21.
According to the victim, suspect Wisdom Korda, who was his school mate, lured him to come to Koforidua to be employed in a company that imports goods and pays GH¢800 a week.
However, he was held “hostage” by the Qnet agents operating in a rented apartment at Two -Streams Community a suburb of Koforidua when he arrived for inquiries.
“I was a labourer at a block factory. So one day my friend Wisdom called me and said he was doing business at the airport that he transports and offloads imported goods to a warehouse which the company pays him Ghc800 every week. He later convinced me that the company needs three persons to employ which they’ve gotten two and left with one so I should quickly come. I arrived in Koforidua on Sunday and they took me to their place. They took all monies I had on me and my mobile phone. They policed me even when I want to urinate. I ate gari all day because I didn’t have money”.
The victim further narrated that “they forced me to deceive my grandmother for money but my grandmother decided to come and see me in person. She came but they gave me two persons to police me. They demanded ID cards from my grandmother which made her upset and she left. They also forced me to deceive my mother to go for a loan of GH¢900 and sent it to me which they took all the money. Similarly, forced me to deceive my Pastor who also sent GH¢350 they again took all the money.
“They have something they call ‘morning call’ which they force victims held hostage to call their relatives to get monies from them under false pretenses and they take all.”
An uncle of the victim, Prosper Tsormana, wants the government to take a serious look into the operations of Qnet and facilitate a decision by the Attorney General to dissolve the company.
He said thousands of youth have been held hostage and being used to defraud many others in the name of network marketing.
“They defrauded the guy. They pressed him under duress asked him to call family and friends. They took his phone, went through the contact list, asked him who is this, who is that then they sat on his neck to call them to demand money from them. Unfortunately for the boy, he doesn’t know anybody here until we came in. This kind of business is illegally being operated, it is a fraud, it is a scam we are calling on the government to as quickly as possible and urgently dissolve this Qnet business. When you go to where they operate in fact it is an eyesore. Then children don’t have food to eat, they don’t allow them to visit their relatives. The police them like prisoners.”
Starr News Eastern Regional Correspondent Kojo Ansah in January this year investigated the operations of Qnet a network marketing company that revealed a business module akin to a Ponzi scheme in which thousands of youth have been victims across the Eastern region and parts of the country.
Victims are made to pay GH¢4,200 under false pretenses as a deposit for products online and bring two others to join to enable them to enjoy a weekly Commission of $225 which will grow to about $7,000 as the individual continue to work with the company, but this never materializes.
Some of the Qnet Agents are Burkinabes, Togolese, Nigerians, Malians and, Benenois operating in Ghana. They mostly hold their victims from their countries hostage after luring them under the guise of securing a well-paid job mostly in the Mining Industry in Ghana for them.
They are forced to pay at least $900 CFA equivalent each and made to deceive two other friends and relatives to come to Ghana using a similar modus operandi.
Few of the agents have been arrested and put before court after their victims reported to police.
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General (A-G), Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, in July this year filed a petition at the Accra High Court seeking an order to wind up (dissolve) QNET company.
In the petition filed at the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court last Monday, the A-G accuses the company of engaging in dishonest, illegal, and fraudulent business activities.
“Investigations by the National Security Council Secretariat disclosed that the respondent (QNET) operates in a manner akin to a Ponzi scheme by luring clients to make deposits and investments with them which they eventually lose,” the petition said.