Six directors of I Monetary Advisory (IMA), the Bengaluru-based financial company which is believed to have defrauded thousands of investors, have surrendered to the police in Bengaluru on Tuesday, a day after its CEO and Managing Director Mohammed Mansoor Khan went absconding.
According to Deccan Chronicle, Nasir Hussain, Naveed Ahmed Nattamkar, Nizammuddin Azeemuddin, Afshan Tabassum, Afsar Pasha and Arshad Khan were among those who surrendered. However, the whereabouts of Mansoor Khan is still not known.
Since Monday, thousands of IMA’s investors have thronged its offices in Shivajinagar after a WhatsApp audio purportedly by Mansoor Khan surfaced, wherein he alleged that he is committing suicide, as he had failed to return investors’ money.
In the audio clip to the city police commissioner, Khan alleged that many politicians including Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig had extorted hundreds of crores from him, and did not return him the money because of which his company had suffered losses. Although Baig denied the allegations, angry investors turned up in front of his house and protested against him.
Meanwhile, the state government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the scam, which is the biggest Ponzi schemes to have surfaced in Bengaluru.
“Considering the seriousness of the #IMAJewels fraud, the inquiry has been handed over to a special investigation team and instructions regarding this have been given to the DGP,” chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said on Twitter.
Considering the seriousness of the #IMAJewels fraud, the inquiry has been handed over to a special investigation team and instructions regarding this have been given to the DGP.
— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) June 11, 2019
— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) June 12, 2019
The SIT is headed by IPS B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Fire Force. The team is likely to send a formal request to Interpol through the CID, to issue a Red Corner Notice against Mansoor Khan, who, according to some news channels, is said to have fled to Dubai on June 8 from the city’s Kempegowda International Airport.
In the past one year alone, a number of such companies in Bengaluru have systematically targeted the city’s Muslim community and attracted them to invest in their firms, inducing them in the name of ‘halal’ investment.
In January 2018, Capital Plus and Capital Infrastructure, a firm promising similar high returns on investment duped over 200 investors of over Rs. 300 crores. In September last year, Morgenall another so-called ‘halal’ investment company shut down its office, and the owners went untraceable. Ajmera, Injaz International, Aleef, Aala Ventures, Ambidant, Burraqh, Heera Gold and several other companies have allegedly siphoned off large sums of money.
Last year, The Cognate had reported that the Office of the Assistant Commissioner had issued a forfeiture notice against IMA, calling its activities as “illegal”. The Assistant Commissioner’s office had stated that IMA was collecting money from the public and “diverting” the funds to its directors’ “self-interest”.
However, despite the government notice, the company had managed to fool investors that the circular was fake and that their legal team would set things right.