CBI seeks govt nod to prosecute 2 IPS officers, 4 others in IMA Ponzi scheme

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Updated: Dec 19, 2019 6:41 PM

The CBI has already filed two charge sheets against 22 accused, including directors, chartered accountants, middlemen and the company as well as its sister concerns.

CBI, IMA Ponzi scheme, RBI, Enforcement Directorate, IMA group, Karnataka governmentThe CBI had registered a case on August 30 against Mohammed Mansoor Khan, managing director of the company, and others pursuant to the notifications issued by the Karnataka government and the government of India, the officials said.

The CBI has sought sanction to prosecute five policemen and a Karnataka government official, a step which indicates that the probe agency would be filing a supplementary charge sheet against them in the multi-crore ponzi scheme run by I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) and its group entities which allegedly duped lakhs of people promising higher returns using Islamic ways of investment. The CBI has already filed two charge sheets against 22 accused, including directors, chartered accountants, middlemen and the company as well as its sister concerns.

The officials said that the CBI has written to the Karnataka government seeking nod for prosecuting IPS officers Hemant Nimbalkar of 1998 batch and Ajay Hilori of 2008 batch. The residences of the two officers were searched by the CBI earlier this year. While Nimbalkar was posted as the then Inspector General of Economic Offences, Hilori was the then Deputy Commissioner of East Bengaluru. Besides these two, the CBI has approached the state authorities for granting sanction to prosecute the then Deputy Superintendent of Police CID EB Sridhara, Inspector and SHO Commercial Street Police Station M Ramesh and sub-inpector of the station P Gowrishankar, the then Assistant Commissioner Bengaluru North Sub Division LC Nagaraj.

Once the agency receives nod from the government, the agency will file a supplementary charge sheet, they said. The CBI has alleged that these public servants had conducted inquiries against the IMA group entities, furnished favourable reports and had given clean chits to its entities as a result no action was initiated against the company, which let the fraud continue unhindered, the officials said. The agency said the Reserve Bank of India repeatedly flagged the issue about unauthorised collections and raising of deposits by the IMA group at the state level coordination committee meetings and had also written several letters to various authorities in Karnataka.

Based on these letters from the RBI, enquiries were conducted by these officers and they allegedly failed in their duties in pointing out glaring irregularities committed by the IMA group and gave clean chits, the officials said. These officers allegedly failed in their duties in pointing out glaring irregularities committed by the IMA group and gave clean chits, they said. A probe into the expenditure statements of IMA group has shown huge payments to these officials alleged to have been paid as bribe on multiple occasions by the company directors, the officials said.

The CBI alleged that the probe so far indicated deliberate inaction and favours to the IMA group on the part of these public servants and authorities for several months, they said. The multi-crore ponzi scheme run by Karnataka-based IMA and its group entities allegedly duped lakhs of people promising higher returns using Islamic ways of investment.

The CBI had registered a case on August 30 against Mohammed Mansoor Khan, managing director of the company, and others pursuant to the notifications issued by the Karnataka government and the government of India, the officials said. The case came to light when Khan fled to Dubai, leaving behind a video message, saying that he was committing suicide because of “corruption in the state and central governments”.

Khan was arrested on July 21 on his arrival in New Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and is currently in judicial custody. The ED had in June this year attached assets worth Rs 209 crore in its money laundering probe into the IMA group which included immovable assets worth Rs 197 crore and about Rs 12 crore deposits kept in bank accounts.

The agency had in June filed a criminal case of money laundering against the IMA group of companies and Khan who is the main promoter and Managing Director for allegedly indulging “in the offence of money laundering by cheating common people through ponzi schemes and generated the proceeds of crime in the form of movable and immovable properties.”

Khan, it said, had promised returns ranging from 2.5 to 3 per cent per month to the investors, who are mainly from the Muslim community. The Karnataka government has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) of the police to probe the case before handing it over to the CBI.

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