IMA Ponzi scam victims might get good news soon.
The IMA competent authority has received Rs 65 crore by auctioning gold and diamond articles belonging to the IMA Group that went bust in June 2019. It will soon apply to a special court for KPID cases for permission to distribute the money to depositors who lost their money in the scam, Aditya Amlan Biswas, the competent authority for the IMA case, told DH.
Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad has submitted a written request to Biswas, asking him to take steps to return the money to distributors. Arshad said that some more diamond articles and luxury vehicles were left to be auctioned and would fetch about Rs 15 crore, taking the total to Rs 80 crore.
“This is the hard-earned money of thousands of people, who are now in dire straits. It should be returned to them as soon as possible,” he told this newspaper. He is hopeful that the court will respond positively to the request and that depositors will get their money in the next few weeks.
If the court accepts the request, the money will be distributed to IMA depositors on a pro rata basis, Biswas said.
In addition, the competent authority has attached IMA’s movables and immovables worth Rs 380-400 crore. But it cannot sell them yet because Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the founder of the Ponzi firm, petitioned the court to ban auctions without the permission of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED, which has launched money-laundering investigations into the IMA scam, has attached Rs 11.46 crore worth of assets.
Arshad, however, believes that the decks will be cleared soon for the auction of all movable and immovable properties belonging to the IMA Group.
“By the end of this year, all the assets will be auctioned and the money returned to depositors,” he added.
The competent authority received around 69,000 claims worth about Rs 2,600 crore from IMA depositors.
This amount was reduced to Rs 1,260 crore after the special court ordered the authority to settle the dues only after deducting any returns depositors had already received.
So far, 6,800 IMA investors whose deposits were less than Rs 2 lakh and whose dues were less than Rs 50,000 have been fully paid back. The authority paid them with Rs 18.8 crore that it had seized from the firm’s bank accounts.
Future of IMA-linked schools
The competent authority has attached the IMA-owned Nehru English School, located in Cleveland Town, but hasn’t been able to sell it because of opposition from students’ parents.
Arshad said he had requested the government to reimburse the authority Rs 12.82 crore that IMA had spent on renovating VK Obaidullah Government Urdu Medium Higher Primary Boys’ School, Shivajinagar.
The authority is also making efforts to recover money from a madrasa renovated by IMA and the firm’s properties in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.