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Sunday 26 January 2020

303 kg ‘gold’ found in IMA scam mastermind Mansoor Khan’s swimming pool

SIT said that Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who ran the Ponzi scheme, used to show people this gold to lure them to invest in his company.

Bengaluru: A special investigation team probing the Ponzi scam involving the IMA group on Wednesday seized 303 kg of fake gold bars under the swimming pool on the sixth floor of the group’s owner Mohammed Mansoor Khan in Bengaluru. The SIT said in its statement that Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who ran the Ponzi scheme, used to show people this gold to lure them to invest in his company. Khan had fled the country. He had hidden the fake gold bars before he escaped from the country. Now SIT has raided this place and recovered 5,880 fake gold bars weighing 303 kg. The Enforcement Directorate had arrested the owner of IMA Jewels in Delhi last month.

Khan had fled to Dubai. He was arrested in Delhi as soon as he returned to India. So far, the SIT has arrested 25 people in connection with this case. The scam is worth Rs 1,500 crore. The founder of the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) in this scam, Mansoor Khan, is accused of cheating about 40,000 Muslim clients of Rs 2,000 crore in all in the name of Islamic banking. In 2006, business graduate Mansoor Khan started a business called I Monetary Advisory (IMA). He told the investors that this firm would invest in bullion and investors would get 7% to 8% returns.

The chit fund fraudulence started under the guise of religion. Khan claimed investments into his company were halal (legitimate by Islamic law). Under the halal investment scheme, he first contacted many maulanas and succeeded in convincing them that he was serving the community. Khan promised to multiply the money invested manifold while his Muslim customers convinced themselves this was riba, a form of Islamic banking that is not a business of interests and, hence, fully halal! For some time, Mansoor fulfilled his promise for some time.

Next, Mansoor graduated from the average income group to super-rich Muslims. The latter fooled themselves in the name of Islamic banking, too. Then, Khan went back to the middle class and relatively poorer Muslims, wielding his photographs and videos with the rich, influential Muslims to impress more people from the community. Thus, his fortunes grew to a worth of a whopping Rs 20,000 crore.

But then, his calculations went wrong and he suffered a heavy loss in early-June. On 8 June, he fled from the country. At the same time, to keep his customers in the dark, Mansoor issued an audio message. The message claimed he was about to commit suicide, and the person responsible for the abetment was Congress rebel Roshan Baig.

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