By Yankuba Jallow
QNet, an e-marketing network platform, a company that has come under fire by several customers, is accused by a family of collecting money from them in a deceitful way.
The e-marketing company has several independent representatives in the Gambia that set-up offices countrywide.
Omar Ceesay, a resident of Kerewan Badala in the Upper River Region, said he introduced his father to the business. He said his father and wife paid D37,500 and D4000 respectively.
According to him, his mother paid D9000, while his stepmother paid D3600 to the QNet office in Basse.
“We were promised that the networking marketing business would transform our lives. We were assured that the business would take us out of poverty because they will be paying us every week $225. This is why we joined,” he said.
Ceesay said his wife was introduced to the business by her childhood friend who was already in the QNet business. He said his wife was told the QNet product has potentials to transform her life into prosperity. The sailor said his wife was told it was network marketing.
“If you tell them it’s QNet, they will refuse. They called it network marketing and they said the contract will last for 90 years. They told my wife that even if she passes away, the benefits will be received by her children,” he said.
The sailor said his wife informed them (the QNet Office) that she needed to consult with her husband. Ceesay, who has been sailing for the past thirteen years, said he was called to go to the Basse QNet Office for discussion. Ceesay said he went to the QNet Office in response to the call.
He said the officials asked him about his job and whether he has a compound. He said after he told them he has no compound, QNet officials told him that the business has the capacity of transforming his life within a very short period. He said two things convinced him to join QNet; one was the person who introduced him to the business was his neighbour whom he trusted and the frequent use of God’s name in their discussion.
“In all our discussion, they [the Qnet operatives] were mentioning Allah’s name. They did that many times and since I am a Muslim, I began trusting them,” he said.
Ceesay said the officials took his national identity card and photocopied it. Thereafter, he said he was asked how much he wants to deposit to grab a place in the business.
He said he was shown a necklace, biodisck and chipandant 4 products.
“They told me only few places were available. I was encouraged to deposit an amount,” he said.
Ceesay said he told them that he was not educated and does not want to involve himself in the business.
“They told me the business came to help the poor to get out of poverty. They told me that the business has a lot of benefits,” he said.
He said the QNet agents further told him that none of them is learned, but they are in the business which has helped changed their lives.
He said he was told that one only brings a person who trusts him or her into the business. He added that the QNet so-called agents relied on the relationship he had with his neighbour and asked him “don’t you trust your neighbour anymore?”.
He said he was convinced to join the business because they told him they will pay him $225 on a weekly basis.
“They told me they pay higher than the Government. That they will be paying me $225 every week after joined the business,” he said.
Ceesay said he informed the QNet operatives that at the time that he had only D2500 which he wanted to use to buy a bag of rice. He detailed they disturbed him with telephone calls inducing him to take a loan from people to join the so-called network marketing business because it has huge potentials to change his life; that he will be able to refund his creditors within two months.
“From the day I made the full payment of D38,000, all those QNet agents who used to tell me they purchased several lands and build them through the network marketing business, abandoned me,” he said.
He said there was a time he was asked to come for training which was an induction classes for people.
“I was trained on how to fool people to join the business, but I told them I cannot do the job because I am a Muslim and I cannot be involved in bringing innocent people into the so-called business by deceiving them. I told them I was not interested in what they wanted me to do,” Ceesay said.
He said one Momodou Jawo, who is renowned as Elite Jawo among members of QNet (who doubles as one of the leaders of the Basse Office) told him that he should stop coming to their office.
“This is because I refused to deceive people to join their business enterprise. They tell people that the more you bring people, the more your stance in the company increases,” he said.
Ceesay said they trained him to get more people into the QNet e-marketing business pretending that he was benefiting from it so that people could be motivated to join.
“What they told me was that I should call people who trust me to come to the Basse Office telling them I have a life changing business for them. But also, I was warned not to give full details of the business until those people come,” he said.
He said the promise the QNet operatives told him was that if he brings more people by deceiving them to join, he will get back his payment.
“My conscience wouldn’t allow me to do that. I paid and I couldn’t draw any benefits from it. How can I deceive people to join the business venture telling them I am enjoying when I know truly that I cannot get back my money?” Ceesay said.
He added: “I hate telling lies and I won’t deceive people to join the business only to benefit from their hard earned money. I told Elite that I am not interested in their business because I cannot do what they wanted me to do.”
He said all he was asked to do was to tell lies and deceive people to join the QNet e-marketing business.
“When you meet up with a person, you will tell them about your successes all from the network marketing. You will tell them you have compounds and vehicles all from the business. Everything you will say is lies to get the minds of the people to join. I refused and asked to be refunded my money,” he said.
He said Elite Jawo showed him a necklace thereon saying that the D38,000 was used to buy it.
“Elite told me that the company won’t refund me my D38000 because I already purchased a necklace from them which costs that amount,” he said.
He said he insisted that he was no more interested in what they wanted him to do and therefore, requested for his money.
“Elite told me the money is already transferred to Malaysia; that I cannot get it back,” he said.
Ceesay said upon insistence on getting his money back, Elite thereon informed him that the money was used to purchase the necklace (Chipandant 4) that was given to him.
He said he used to go to the QNet Office frequently purposefully to be refunded. He explained that there was a day he was attacked by one of the operatives who instructed him not to come back there to disturb them anymore.
He said Elite believed to be the leader of the Basse Office is now saying he does not have money there.
He said QNet refunded his wife her D4000 while his mother’s D4000 is outstanding.
“They still have our money and are refusing to give us the money back. What they are saying is that the money once wired cannot be returned,” he said.
Elite said Ceesay and his family were all introduced to the business and they willingly joined without duress. He said the terms of the business was explained to them which they all subscribed to.
He wouldn’t take further questions as he hang up the phone. Foroyaa also contacted the QNet Basse Office to get their side, but they wouldn’t answer questions.
Readers would recall Foroyaa did an extensive report on the activities of QNet, a company accused by many of its customers as amassing wealth pretending that they have an e-marketing business capable of changing their lives. The customers accused the company of failing to honour its $225 weekly payment promise. Our investigation revealed that they deceive people to join their business pretending that they have solutions to their problems. The list of victims continues to grow as many more are reaching out to Foroyaa.