Monrovia – The Korean-based QNET, a multi-level marketing company owned by the QI Group, through its regional office, has distanced itself from all human trafficking allegations reported yesterday by this newspaper.
In its reaction, Biram Fall, Regional General Manager, QNET, Sub-Saharan Africa, stated, “Your publication of an article regarding a human trafficking ring under the guise of an employment agency has been brought to the attention of QNET. The company wishes to make the following clarifications:
We are aware of your article pertaining to alleged trafficking of some foreign nationals into Liberia, under the guise of job offers from QNET. We out rightly deny this allegation and aver that we are in no manner connected to this.”
QNET’s Sub-Sahara Africa’s General Manager emphasized their condemnation of “any activity by our Independent representatives (IRs) that is not in compliance with the local laws and regulations of the countries they operate in. We also do not condone unprofessional marketing acts and if any IR is found culpable, they are liable to be terminated from selling the company’s products as we have done recently by terminating more than 400 IRs across the world for policy violations and professional misconducts.”
Yesterday, this reported that in its investigation, it had discovered that the company, Qnet International, had been bringing children and other young adults to Liberia from neighboring countries – mainly Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Mali.
FPA had, however, said it unable to independently verify if the QNET in Liberia is associated with Chinese company, ONet Ltd., which is based in Hong Kong. Although the company is legal in many countries, it has faced accusations of being involved in a Ponzi Scheme – a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors.
Reacting further, Fall stated: “We remain committed to the highest professional standards of the Direct Selling industry and compliant with local laws and regulations in every country we operate in.”
He pledged that they will take every action to work with the Liberian authorities to bring to justice the perpetrators of the alleged crime of trafficking; adding, “if it has been committed using our name. We also invite the authorities to directly liaise with us to ensure that at all times, full and appropriate actions and measures can be taken together. QNET strongly believes in joint cooperation as it will critically assist in bringing the wrong doers to justice in Liberia.”
He again reminded everyone of their status as a Direct Selling company, with a 22-year history, and a presence in more than 100 countries globally.
“We are not an employment agency, do not offer job promises, and absolutely deny any allegations of human trafficking levied against us. Thus, we can summarily declare that QNet did not offer any employment to those stranded in Liberia,” Fall said in his statement.
According to him, to avoid any misunderstanding of their company, he stated, “QNET is a direct selling company that offers a wide range of products in the areas of health, wellness, lifestyle and education through an e-commerce platform. Our products are designed to help people live healthier and improve their lifestyle and livelihood.”
He again repeated that they don’t not offer jobs, salaries or employment. He added: “However, we open the doors to any adult, who upon satisfying specific criteria, can become an Independent Representative (IR) and earn commissions on the sale of products to others. All IRs’ remuneration is based solely on the commissions earned through the sale of our products by themselves and/or their sales teams.”
QNET’s Sub-Saharan General Manager further stated that their Code of Conduct, and Policies and Procedures require all IRs to act in strict compliance with local laws and regulations in force. He added: “Any displacement of people from one country to another against these laws and regulations is strictly prohibited by QNET.”
“Any individual desirous of being an IR must agree to conduct his/her independent marketing activities in compliance with our company’s policies & procedures and applicable local laws. Additionally, QNET also provides regular training programs (both online and off-line), business tools, best practices, and ethical marketing guidelines (through the QNETPRO program) to our IRs to help them grow a successful business.”