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Tanzania government investigates company linked to pyramid scheme

Tuesday December 15 2020
QNET PIC

Director of criminal investigations of the Police Force, Mr Robert Boaz.

Dar es Salaam. Police are investigating an international network of a marketing company after receiving complaints over conning across the country.

Several people have come out with testimony of being defrauded by ‘QNet’ which connects people in the form of a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

The company sells products to its members at inordinately high prices with the promise of earning more every month.

The director of criminal investigations of the Police Force, Mr Robert Boaz, said the law enforcers received the complaints about being conned by the network business which they are now investigating.

“We have received complaints and there are investigations ongoing about the operations of QNet.

“Basically, a pyramid scheme is a criminal offense in accordance with Tanzanian laws,” Mr Boaz said yesterday.

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“I would like to encourage all those who have complaints to report to the police in their respective regions and our experts will work on the issues,” he added.

The complaints of fraud are surfacing several months after the government charged in court a business man who was involved in a pyramid scheme.

A city businessman Tariq Machibya, 29, alias ‘Mr Kuku’ was charged in August for running a pyramid scheme and illegally collecting Sh17 billion from the public on promise of lucrative returns.

Another pyramid scheme known as DECI emerged in 2009 and its leaders were arrested and prosecuted following the government intervention.

“Pyramids can come in many forms and it’s a bit challenging to control everyone despite the fact that the laws do not allow. You may notice when people start complaining,” said Mr Boaz.

Last week, Hai District Commissioner Lengai Ole Sabaya ordered the police to arrest Moshi Municipal extension officer Diminic Mwapombe in connection with the collection of money from QNet customers.

Ms Janet Julius, a resident of Hai came out claiming to have been defrauded Sh4.3 million which she gave to Mr Mwapombe.

“A friend of mine came and told me about QNet where the minimum investment is Sh4.3 million to get a chain and a watch. After that, I would be paid $200 as monthly return.

“I borrowed money and gave them in cash,” said Ms Julius as she spoke in front of Mr Sabaya.

“Since then, I get nothing. They have never given me even a receipt,” she added.

After listening, Mr Sabaya ordered Mr Mwapombe to be brought and after questioning, he was not satisfied with the explanations. He then ordered his arrest.

According to Mr Sabaya, QNet has taken money of many government employees including teachers, promising them quick returns.

Another person who spoke in Dar es Salaam on condition of anonymity, said he knew the company since 2017 when an MP connected him with the firm operators.

“I had a friend who was an MP (name withheld) who convinced me to join it with the promise to change my life.

“He told me to go to the QNet offices in Oysterbay for information,” he said.

Upon arrival, he met a man who identified himself as Shiraz Khan who shown him the products they were selling including watches.

“I asked him some time to think because I did not even have the money,” he said.

However, he decided to cancel the plan after consulting another friend who warned him the scheme was fraudulent.

When contacted by phone, Mr Shiraz Khan admitted to knowing QNet, but said he had quit the firm.

“I’m not with them for many years,” said Mr Khan.

In efforts to contact the company officials, The Citizen contacted Ms Nancy Assenga who was mentioned as one of those who convinced people to join.

She asked the reporter to go to their offices on the 15th floor of the ports authority building in Dar es Salaam.

However, there was no office named QNet in the building.

In the floor, there was an office for Sted International which deals with clearing and forwarding services.

An office clerk who did not want to be named said QNet was among their customers who import cargo from Malaysia.

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By Elias [email protected] [email protected]

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