IMA ponzi scam: CBI conducts searches in Karnataka, UP

The Central Bureau of Investigation conducted searches at 15 locations in connection with the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam, here on Friday. Among the officials raided included IPS officers Hemant Nimbalkar and Ajay Hilory, and former Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district, B M Vijayshankar.

While 11 places were searched in Bengaluru, the officials also raided one property each in Mandya, Ramanagar, Belagavi and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. The locations include the residences of Nimbalakar, former IG of Economic Offences Wing, CID, Hilory, who was DCP(West) during the scam, EB Sridhara, former DySP, CID, LC Nagaraj, former ACP, Bangalore North, M Ramesh and Gowri Shankar, inspector and sub-inspector of Commercial Street police station respectively.

Similarly, raids were also carried out at the premises of Manjunatha, village accountant in Bangalore North sub-division and PD Kumar, former chief engineer at BDA. "These public servants had conducted inquiries against the IMA group entities and furnished favourable reports," CBI sources said.

The raids came weeks after few of these officials were questioned by the CBI.

According to sources, the Reserve Bank of India had repeatedly flagged the issue about unauthorised collections and increase in deposits of the IMA group at the state level coordination committee meetings and wrote several letters to various authorities in the State.

"These officers allegedly failed in their duties in pointing out glaring irregularities committed by the IMA group and gave clean chits. Investigations into expenditure statement of the IMA group has revealed the alleged payment of bribe amount on multiple occasions by the IMA directors to these officials," according to sources.

It can be recalled that the CBI had registered a case on August 30 against Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who is the managing director of the company and several others, after the State government handed over the case from Special Investigation Team to CBI. IMA is accused of defrauding more than 30,000 investors, and the scam came out in the open after Mansoor fled the country.

CBI, it can be noted, has already filed two chargesheet in connection with the case against IMA group entities, its directors and auditors. Further investigation is underway in day to day basis to unearth the larger conspiracy and to trail the funds, sources added.

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