The Karnataka government on Tuesday, 20 August entrusted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the multi-crore ponzi scheme I Monetory Advisory (IMA) and its group entities, which allegedly duped over a lakh of people.
According sanction to the CBI, the government in its order said it would investigate all the FIRs registered against the IMA and its group entities.
The premier probe agency would also enquire and investigate into all types of illegal activities of IMA.
The CBI has also been asked to “identify and investigate persons involved in the illegal activities in connection with affairs of IMA, Bengaluru and its group entities.” The government directed the officials of all departments concerned to hand over data, information and records as and when required by the CBI and cooperate in the investigation.
Promising high returns, IMA operator Mohammed Mansoor Khan had allegedly duped over a lakh investors, mostly Muslims. He had promised them that his company promoted Islamic way of investment.
Many touts and some religious preachers were also among those who lured people to invest in the IMA, police said.
The case came to light when Khan fled to Dubai, leaving behind a video message, saying that he was committing suicide because of “corruption in the state and central governments”.
Khan was arrested on 21 July on his arrival in New Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate and is currently in judicial custody
Before fleeing the country, Khan had even accused the Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig, who has been disqualified from the assembly on a request by the Congress for his anti-party activities, of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not returning it.
Baig had outrightly rejected the claim, saying that the charges were false, baseless and frivolous.
As complaints started pouring in,the Karnataka government constituted a Special Investigation Team headed by DIG, B R Ravikanthe Gowda. The SIT said more than one lakh people had invested in the IMA Jewels which started 17 companies and that people had invested Rs 4,084 crore in the company.
He has to refund approximately Rs 1,400 crore to his investors, the SIT had said.
It has so far arrested over 25 people, including 12 directors of the firm, a corporator, husband of a corporator, the deputy commissioner of Bengaluru urban, assistant commissioner of Bengaluru north sub-division, a Bengaluru Development Authority officer and a village accountant.
The SIT, as well as the Enforcement Directorate quizzed Chamarajpet Congress MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan in connection with the case and later released him.
The SIT questioned Baig once. He was asked to appear again, but did not turn up, citing health reasons. The SIT has unearthed huge cache of gold and real estate dealings of IMA.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the case simultaneously, has attached assets worth Rs 209 crore, including 20 immovable properties and bank deposits, in connection with the case.