BENGALURU: The state government on Wednesday constituted a Special Investigation Team headed by ADGP rank officer M A Saleem to investigate into the alleged multi-crore fraud involving IMA jewels.
The Islamic investment firm has left thousands of people in the lurch. B R Ravikanthe Gowda, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Fire and Emergency Service), will be the SIT’s chief investigating officer who will lead a 10 member team, including the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime).
Immediately after being formed, the SIT swung into action and arrested seven directors of IMA who were said to be absconding. The SIT team carried out the operation along with the east division police. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police, East Division, Rahul Kumar Shahpurwad, “One of the directors of the company approached us and told us about those who have partnerships in IMA. We have taken them into custody.”
The arrested IMA directors are Dada Peer, Nasir Hussain, Naveed Ahmed Nattamkar, Nizammudin Azeemuddin, Afshan Tabassum, Afsar Pasha and Arshad Khan. All seven had allegedly gone into hiding after an audio purportedly recorded by IMA Managing Director Mansoor Khan was released on Monday. The arrested directors will be produced before the 4th ACMM Court’s magistrate’s residence on
Interestingly, in IMA’s case, each director has only 0.03% of share in the company as opposed to the common belief that directors have a lion’s share in any financial company. The investigating officer added, “The arrested directors also do not have any information about the whereabouts of Mansoor.”
Many victims stay mum
A police officer said many investors have not filed police complaints as they don’t have any tax evidence to show their source of income. “Many of these people have invested in lakhs and most of them have given cash. As a result, such people have not come forward to complain,” an officer said.
Bengaluru alone sees 13,000 complaints
The complaints filed in Bengaluru alone is 13,000. Police estimate it could be an Rs 850 crore scam just in Bengaluru, and that the total amount could run up to Rs 2,000 crore in the entire state. “We are expecting more cases to be registered. We have opened five kiosks at a convention hall in Shivajinagar to ease the process of filing complaints,” an officer said.
Mansoor Khan’s properties, cars seized
Properties belonging to Mansoor Khan and IMA have been seized. Interestingly, all the properties are in Mansoor’s name and not in the name of IMA. Two cars belong to Mansoor have also been seized - one Jaguar and one Range Rover. However, police say that his assets will not add up to even Rs 400 crore.
Software seized from IMA office; names of complainants being tallied
The SIT has also seized software from the IMA office which has stored client and investor-related data. Cybercrime police helped with this and now the names of all the complainants will be tallied with those of the investors, an investigating officer said.
IMA-run school shut
V K Obeidullah School in Shivajinagar, which was run by IMA, was shut on Wednesday. Several distraught parents were seen outside the school, unsure if it was closed for good. The school, which was established only this year, has 1,800 students.
Gold, diamonds go missing
The investigating team found several gold and diamond items were missing from both the IMA stores — one in Jayanagar 4th Block and another in Shivajinagar. A majority of the items seized were silver and there was no gold or diamond in both the shops. Their register has a list of gold and diamond items, last updated on June 9, but these are now missing, an officer said.
Most investorsare women
Police said 60% of the investors are women. Many are homemakers who made the investments for either their child’s education, wedding or just to buy jewellery. An advocate who is helping some of the victims, said, “Many of them have pledged gold or sold houses and vehicles to invest here, all in the hope to get more interest. It is sad because there is little hope of getting their money back.”
B R Ravikanthe Gowda
S Girish, DCP
Balaraju, Assistant Commissioner, Central Crime Branch
K Ravishankar, DySP State Intelligence
Raja Imam Kasim, DySp State Intelligence
Abdul Khadar, DySP Karnataka Lokayukta
C R Geetha, Police Inspector of Lokayukta
L Y Rajesh, Police Inspector of BDA
Anjan Kumar, Police Inspector of CCB
N Thanveer Ahmed, Police Inspector, State Records Crime Bureau
B K Shekhar, Police Inspector, Commercial Street police station
Sub-inspector a victim too
Sources said Sheela Mallya, a sub-inspector at Shivajinagar police station, is one of the victims of the scam. She, however, had not lodged a complaint and did not want the media to know that she was one of the victims. But the news leaked and when she received phone calls from mediapersons regarding the same, she lost consciousness and was admitted to a hospital.