BENGALURU: With the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam, touted as the ‘mother of all Ponzi schemes’, threatening to singe the coalition government, senior leaders of the Congress on Tuesday pushed for swift recovery of the investors’ money, and the state government decided to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the issue. At a closed-door meeting with senior IPS officers, Home Minister MB Patil said the SIT will be headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Director General of Police.
The Enforcement Directorate is also examining the over Rs 2,000-crore scam, and may book a case against IMA Jewels founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan and others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, if it finds that they diverted the depositors’ money for illegal purposes.
In Bengaluru, investors continued to gather in front of the IMA Jewels showroom, which downed its shutters, to demand that they be repaid.
By Tuesday evening, investors had filed as many as 8,000 complaints, and the number is expected to go up on Wednesday. Police have set up counters to file complaints.
Mansoor Khan disappeared on Monday after purportedly releasing a dramatic audio clip, in which he threatened to end his life, and said he was fed up of bribing politicians. He reportedly fled to the UAE on Saturday night.
The clip, which implicates senior Congress leader Roshan Baig, saying he took Rs 400 crore and failed to return it, created a minor political storm and headed out into Twitterspace.
The BJP uploaded pictures of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and other coalition leaders sharing a meal with Mansoor Khan, forcing the JDS leader on to the backfoot.
Meanwhile, a team of Congress leaders led a delegation to the government, pushing for a thorough investigation. Minister Zameer Ahmed, legislators Rizwan Arshad and N A Haris urged that the money be recovered and returned to investors.
Arshad hit out at Baig on Twitter, commiserating with the people whose had invested in the scheme. On Monday, Baig was in New Delhi to meet BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, sparking rumours that he was moving to the saffron party.
But sources in the know said that Baig was there to talk about Haj pilgrims from the state.
MOTHER OF ALL PONZI SCAMS:
Rs 2,000 crore total scam.
2%-4% returns promised.
Rs 400 crore allegedly with MLA Roshan Baig.