A Special Investigation Team of Karnataka Police, which is probing an alleged multi-crore fraud perpetrated on 40,000 investors in a private firm called I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Group, has deposited Rs 6.77 crore that was recovered from persons associated with IMA Group, including its founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan, with a Bengaluru court.
The Rs 6.77 crore is meant to pay back investors who have been cheated to the tune of Rs 1,410 crore allegedly by IMA Group.
The SIT has so far tracked down nearly Rs 300 crore in moveable and immovable assets linked to IMA Group in order to return funds under the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Institutions Act (KPID Act), 2004 to the defrauded investors. The SIT is hoping to find details of more funds diverted from investors following interrogation of Khan who is in SIT custody until August 14.
The SIT has handed over three demand drafts and one bankers cheque amounting to Rs 6.77 crore to the treasury branch of the city civil court as funds recovered from the probe in the cheating case, which attracted investors under the guise of a Sharia-compliant investment firm.
On Wednesday, the SIT recovered 5,880 imitation gold bars weighing 303 kg from the swimming pool of a flat owned by Khan. The fake gold bars were used by Khan to create the front of a legitimate gold bullion trader to entice investors to join ponzi schemes promising up to 36 per cent interest on deposits, it said.
Earlier, the SIT had recovered only 2.853 kg genuine gold ingots out of 30 kg that was created by Khan by melting gold jewellery in his possession before he fled to Dubai on June 8.
The SIT arrested Sanaulla, a goldsmith employed with IMA Group, and a worker in the firm Ravi Narale who allegedly diverted gold jewellery weighing 30 kg from an IMA Group jewellery store, melted it and sold it for Rs 9 crore on Khan’s instructions.
Khan was brought back from Dubai last month by the SIT and the ED.
Among those arrested from whom the SIT is trying to recover funds to repay investors, are IAS officer B M Vijayshankar from the revenue department, who was arrested last month for allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore to give IMA Group a clean chit for its operations, and another revenue official who got Rs 4 crore.
Mohammed Haneef Afzar Azeez, an Imam of a mosque, who allegedly received a house worth Rs 3 crore for encouraging people to invest in IMA, and Mohammed Akbar Shareef, whose school allegedly received IMA funds, are among those arrested for recovery of funds.