IMA scam accused Mansoor Khan brought to Bengaluru

IMA scam accused Mansoor Khan brought to Bengaluru

The Founder and Managing Director of I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the prime accused in the multi-crore investment scam taken from Enforcement Directorate office in Shantinagar to City Civil Court near SBM circle in Bengaluru on Saturday. | DH Photo.

Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who had absconded to Dubai last month after cheating nearly 40,000 investors as part of the multi-crore I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam, has been finally brought back to Bengaluru, thanks to the efforts of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) who have jointly worked on the case. 

According to latest reports, he is currently being taken to a City Civil Court near SBM circle after being brought to the Shanti Nagar Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Bengaluru.

The ED on Saturday got transit remand of the accused. He will be produced before a special PMLA court in Bengaluru where the ED will seek custodial remand, according to ANI.

An SIT team had traced Khan to Dubai through its sources and persuaded him to come back to India and surrender before the law.  In a covert operation, the SIT flew to Dubai in the first week of July. They traced Khan’s hideout to Dubai and approached him, leaving him shocked. SIT convinced him to return to India.

Khan landed in New Delhi at 1.55 am on Friday, carrying an emergency certificate. The EC is a one-way travel document which an Indian citizen can use to enter India during an emergency. Khan carried the EC as his passport was suspended days after he fled India on June 8 and his company wound up. 

Since a Look Out Circular (LOC) was issued against him by both the SIT and the Enforcement Directorate’s Bengaluru zonal office, the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) sent a fax to the Bengaluru police, notifying his arrival. The LOC had asked for detaining and handing Khan over to the Bengaluru police for investigation over a cheating case registered at the Commercial Street police station.

Another aide arrested

Mansoor's arrest came a day after an accomplice of Mansoor, Umar Shariff (42) was arrested by the SIT.

SIT sources said that Shariff, a social activist and an educationist and the owner of Al Basheer International School near Bannerghatta Road had been promoting IMA and its now-absconding founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan's business for the past five years.

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In return, Shariff had received Rs 60 lakh in cash and a van worth Rs 15 lakh. Shariff managed to lure a lot of people into investing in IMA schemes over the years.

He was produced before the court and taken into custody till July 22 for further inquiry.

Based on thousands of complaints, the SIT 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 Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and a village accountant.

How IMA scam worked

Khan targeted Muslims who shy away from investing in interest-based businesses. The company’s tagline was catchy: Your partner to (the) path of prosperity. Investors were called “sleeping partners”. 
 

 

IMA offered a bouquet of attractive investment schemes with monthly, quarterly and yearly returns. The amount to be invested was Rs 50,000 and its multiples. Withdrawing from the scheme was touted to be hassle-free: get your money back after 45 days.

The company claimed to trade in gold and silver bars. At its peak, it doled out a 7% monthly profit. A person investing Rs 1 lakh made a neat Rs 7,000 a month. In a little over a year, s/he could easily recover the entire investment. 

ALSO READ: IMA scam: Chronicle of a fraud

But this profit percentage didn’t last long. It first went down to 5% before averaging 3% until February 2019. Investors started to panic when the company paid them just 1% in April 2019 in lieu of business for the previous month. Things came to a head in May when many investors didn’t receive any profit. The company’s head office — IMA Tower on Bowring Hospital Road in the heart of Bengaluru — was soon swarmed with harried investors. 

(With inputs from PTI)