A nominated councillor of Bangalore’s local civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the multi-crore I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam on Sunday.
Pulkeshi Nagar councillor Syed Mujahid, also a JD(S) nominee, allegedly helped IMA chief Mohammed Mansoor Khan evade arrest and flee from the country on June 8. The SIT seized several documents during the raid at his Frazer Town residence on Sunday, which gave them leads to prove his connections with the IMA group and its transactions.
Interestingly, SIT officials also identified as many as 101 accounts belonging to IMA and took action to freeze these accounts. Rs 1.17 crore was found in these accounts by the investigating officials.
According to the SIT, Mujahid was in constant contact with Mansoor just before the latter fled India and is one among the few who has information on where Mansoor Khan is hiding at the moment. SIT officer and DCP (Crime) S. Girish confirmed that a Fortuner car and two mobile phones were also seized during the raid. “The arrest was made based on the documents found from the residence,” he said.
BBMP officials, however, told Indianexpress.com that Mujahid was never an active participant in council meetings or other activities. “Like most of the nominated members he has hardly attended any event or meeting related to the BBMP,” said an official.
Earlier, Mujahid had uploaded a video on YouTube as an appeal to Mansoor Khan. In the six-minute video uploaded on June 12, he is seen advising Mansoor to address the concerns of his investors by making a video. “Let them know that you will not let people’s (investors’) money get wasted. Be in any corner of the world, please give a message to the people of the world that you won’t leave the work until you return their money,” he is hear saying in the video.
On June 23, Mansoor Khan released a video in which he offered to surrender but alleged he may be killed on his return to India. In the 18-minute-long video message addressed to Bengaluru Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar, he claimed that he tried returning to India and even boarded the plane but he was stopped from flying.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate(ED) on Friday for questioning in the IMA ponzi scheme case.
Earlier in an audio clip, Khan had blamed Shivaji Nagar Congress MLA Roshan Baig for the problems he faced and for the failure of the IMA, after which he went absconding.
Khan has been accused of cheating over 40,000 investors of Rs 2,000 crore. Thousands of complaints have been registered at the Commercial Street Police Station since his audio clip with a suicide threat went viral on June 9.