Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff and cricketer Yuvaraj Singh were among several celebrities who have been served notice by the Cyberabad Police in its investigation of the QNet multi-level marketing cases.
Boman Irani, Vivek Oberoi, Pooja Hegde and Telugu actor Allu Sirish also figured in the list of 500 persons who were asked to appear before the Economic Offences Wing to explain their association with Hong Kong-based Q-Net and Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, who are facing charges of cheating, police sources said on February 27.
The companies allegedly duped over 20 lakh investors. The volume of cheating through illegal money circulation scheme is estimated to be at about Rs200 billion (Dh10.31 billion).
The celebrities allegedly endorsed and promoted the companies involved. Some of them also worked as their brand ambassadors.
Promoters, shareholders, directors and CEOs of the companies were among those served notice under Section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code, asking them to appear before Economic Offences Wing of Cyberabad Police Commissionerate, one of the three police commissionerates covering Hyderabad, Secunderabad, information technology hub Cyberabad and surroundings.
Sources said if the persons served notice fail to appear, they may face legal action.
Cyberabad police had received complaints against the celebrities from many victims. They allegedly received remuneration from the companies for creating the brand image.
According to police, several criminal cases were filed against Vihaan Direct Selling, Bengluru for cheating more than three lakh persons across the country by floating illegal money circulation scheme.
Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar earlier said Telangana High Court had not given any stay orders on the investigation of criminal cases filed against Vihaan. He also clarified that there is no bar for registering of fresh cases against QNet/Vihaan Direct Selling.