IMA Scam: MLA Suspended, Mastermind On The Run, Police Requests INTERPOL's Involvement
Almost 40,000 people affected, a fraud amounting to more than ₹1,500 Crores, and the alleged involvement of an MLA, the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam has considerably blown out of proportion in last ten days.
The scam came to light on June 10 when an audio clip, allegedly belonging to IMA’s founder-owner Mansoor Khan, surfaced on social media.
In the clip, he blamed Congress MLA Roshan Baig and other government officials of corruption. He said that he defaulted on paying investors because he had to pay bribes.
From June 11, the suffering investors started gathering outside IMA’s office in protest. As the numbers swelled, the police set up kiosks to register complaints.
Within nine days, the number of complaints has gone up to more than 40,000. Those affected also include 200 employees of IMA.
Based on the complaints, the estimated amount of fraud is more than ₹1,500 Crores.
The Politics Of IMA Scam
In an exclusive interview to The Time of India, the revenue minister RV Deshpande revealed several key facts related to the scam.
Deshpande said that Roshan Baig brought Khan to him for favours. Khan was seeking a NOC from the government to raise a ₹600 Crore loan from a bank.
However, Deshpande denied extending any undue favours to Khan.
He alleged that it was the police department that approved IMA’s operations after the RBI flagged IMA and insisted on analyzing its books.
Amidst the ongoing drama, the Karnataka Congress suspended Baig “on account of his anti-party activities”, on June 18.
ಪಕ್ಷ ವಿರೋಧಿ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಗಳಿಗಾಗಿ ಮಾಜಿ ಸಚಿವ, ಶಿವಾಜಿನಗರ ಶಾಸಕ ಆರ್.ರೋಷನ್ ಬೇಗ್ ಅವರನ್ನು ತಕ್ಷಣದಿಂದಲೇ ಜಾರಿಗೆ ಬರುವಂತೆ ಪಕ್ಷದಿಂದ ಅಮಾನತುಗೊಳಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. pic.twitter.com/ILAGTdRwX5
— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) June 18, 2019
The Investigation To Date
The CM of Karnataka handed over the case to a Special Investigation Team on June 11. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ravikanth Gowda is leading the team.
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
On June 14, the SIT arrested seven directors of IMA, accused of perpetrating financial fraud. The arrested directors are – Nizamuddin, Dada Peer, Naveed Ahmed, Arshad Khan, Ansar Pasha, Nasir Hussain, and Waseem.
The SIT launched a probe to determine the location of Khan but has not been able to find him yet. In a statement, Gowda said that Khan fled India in the first week of June.
The team had written to the Ministry of Home and External Affairs to issue a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Mansoor Khan.
Once the ministry grants permission, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) will issue RCN to all countries, seeking Khan’s arrest.
At the moment, the SIT is trying to ascertain and determine the value of IMA’s assets.