IMA ponzi scam accused Mansoor Khan arrested in Delhi

IMA ponzi scam accused Mansoor Khan arrested in Delhi

In photo: Managing Director and CEO of I Monetary Advisory (IMA), Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who is accused of cheating nearly 40,000 investors in the multi-crore (IMA) scam.

Absconding Managing Director and CEO of I Monetary Advisory (IMA), Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who is accused of cheating nearly 40,000 investors in the multi-crore (IMA) scam was arrested in New Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after arriving from Dubai on Friday morning.

He was taken into custody by the ED,  which had registered a case on the basis of an FIR by Karnataka Police and was subsequently arrested under the relevant sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act 

A team of Special Investigation Team (SIT) officers probing the case had located Mansoor in Dubai through its sources and persuaded him to come back to India and submit himself before the law.

"An SIT team located IMA founder-owner Mohd Mansoor Khan in Dubai, through its sources, and persuaded him to come back to India and submit himself before law. Accordingly, he has travelled from Dubai to New Delhi. SIT officers are in Delhi to secure and arrest him," said Ravikanthe Gowda, chief of the SIT probing the matter. 

He is currently in the joint custody of the SIT and the ED and is being questioned by ED officials in Delhi but will be sent to Bengaluru for a detailed probe by the SIT.

“As Look Out Circular (LOC) was issued against him by both Special Investigation Team (SIT) and Enforcement Directorate (ED), he will be handed over according to the procedures,” he added.

Khan will be produced in a court on Friday and will be taken to Bengaluru on transit remand.

Mansoor playing the victim?

Mansoor Khan had recently released a video, in which he promised to return to Bengaluru within 24 hours and said that he will return all the investments by selling off his properties through the judiciary. In the video, he also claimed that he's been sick due to diabetes and other health issues and has been bedridden for one month. He added that he has been undergoing expensive cardiac treatment which he could not afford. 

 

Khan had also issued a similar video, nearly a month ago, on June 23, in the immediate aftermath of the unearthing of the IMA scam where he offered to surrender before the police and co-operate with the investigation but also claimed innocence and said that he was made the scapegoat by other corrupt officials. He also claimed that they pose a threat to his life, saying that "I am sure that these people will not spare me alive." 

Meanwhile, the SIT had written to the Ministry of Home and External Affairs to issue Red Corner Notice against him.

Before fleeing he had accused Shivajinagar Congress MLA R Roshan Baig of taking Rs 400 crore and not returning it but he categorically refuted the charge, terming it false and frivolous. The MLA who had rebelled against the party was suspended for anti-party activities. Baig then joined the bandwagon of rebel MLAs who resigned.

The SIT had served him a notice to depose before it on July 15, but he sought time till July 26. The SIT then asked him to be present before it on July 19.

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

Another aide arrested

The latest major breakthrough comes 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.

ALSO READ: IMA fraud: Ponzi scam in the name of ‘Halal’

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)