Udayavni Special

IMA Ponzi scheme: Main accused remanded to ED custody till Jul 23


PTI, Jul 20, 2019, 4:51 PM IST

Bengaluru: A special PMLA court here on Saturday granted a three-day custody of Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the owner of IMA Jewels, to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) until July 23 in connection with a multi-crore-rupee Ponzi scheme case, in which thousands of investors have allegedly been cheated.

Khan, who had fled to Dubai, flew back to India and was arrested by ED officials after landing in New Delhi on Friday.

He was brought back to Bengaluru on Saturday and produced before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, where the ED sought his custodial remand, officials said.

A lookout circular was issued against Khan by both the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the ED.

The SIT had said its sources in Dubai persuaded Khan to come back and submit himself before the law.

Over one lakh people had invested in IMA Jewels, which had floated 17 companies, and Khan had invited people, mostly Muslims, to invest in five such firms.

A total amount of Rs 4,084 crore was invested in the company, the SIT had said, adding that Khan had to refund approximately Rs 1,400 crore to his investors.

Khan had fled to Dubai around a month-and-a-half ago, leaving thousands of investors in the lurch.

He had promised to return to India and refund their money.

Based on thousands of complaints, the SIT registered a case against him and others.

It has so far arrested 22 people, including Khan, 12 directors of the firm, Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district Vijay Shankar, Assistant Commissioner L C Nagaraj, a Bangalore Development Authority officer, a nominated corporator of the BBMP and a village accountant.

Before fleeing, Khan had accused Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig of the Congress of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not returning the amount.

Baig had categorically refuted the charge, terming it as “false and frivolous”.

The MLA, who has rebelled against his party, has since been suspended by the Congress for anti-party activities.

Baig subsequently jumped on to the bandwagon of the other rebel MLAs who have resigned from their Assembly membership.

The SIT had served a notice to Baig to depose before it on July 15, but he had sought time till July 26.

The SIT had then asked him to be present before it on July 19.

The day Baig was supposed to appear before the SIT, he had planned to fly to Mumbai by a special chartered plane, but the SIT detained him and quizzed him extensively.

The SIT released Baig and asked him to appear before it again on July 19.

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