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Friday 24 January 2020

IMA ponzi scam: SIT summons Roshan Baig

The Ponzi scheme operator and owner of IMA jewels Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who has fled to an unknown destination, taking Rs 400 crore.

Bengaluru: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged IMA group ponzi scam, Tuesday served a notice to Congress MLA Roshan Baig, asking him to appear before it on Thursday.

This comes hours after the Shivajinagar MLA resigned from the assembly. The lawmaker was earlier suspended from the Congress for his alleged anti-party activities.

“Yes. We have served a notice,” an investigating officer of the SIT told PTI.

The Ponzi scheme operator and owner of IMA jewels Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who has fled to an unknown destination, had in an audio message accused Baig of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not refunding it.

Baig had refuted the allegation, saying the statement was “frivolous, baseless and mischievous.”

The MLA also saw his name being dragged in the case as a fallout with his adversaries in the Congress party.

Allegedly duping thousands of investors, mostly Muslims, to the tune of crores of rupees, Khan had disappeared last month.

People from Karnataka as well as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and even Delhi fell into the trap and invested their money in the scheme.

The SIT has arrested five people in connection with the scam including the deputy commissioner of Bengaluru urban district B M Vijay Shankar and assistant commissioner of Bengaluru North sub-division L C Nagaraj.

While Vijay Shankar got Rs 1.5 crore, Nagaraj received Rs 4 crore from Khan to cover up the case and issue favourable reports repeatedly for IMA Jewels, after the Reserve Bank of India expressed concern about the functioning of the firm.

Others who have been arrested include a corporator, a Bangalore Development Authority officer and a village accountant.

The SIT had in the past raided many IMA showrooms and recovered cash, gold, silver, valuable gems and costly perfumes.

State Revenue Minister RV Deshpande had said Baig had introduced the firm owner, Mohammed Mansoor Khan, to him about two months ago, but denied doing any undue favour to him.

Not willing to comment on the IMA Jewels case, Baig said the matter was before a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

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