BENGALURU: In another huge embarrassment to the state bureaucracy, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday raided the residential premises of two serving senior IPS officers - Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Additional Commissioner of Police (Administration) Hemant Nimbalkar and Superintendent and Commandant, State Reserve Police, 1st Battalion Ajay Hilori in the alleged multi-crore I Monetary Advisory (IMA) ponzi scheme. The CBI had earlier searched the residence and official premises of Additional Director General of Police and former Bengaluru city police commissioner Alok Kumar in the illegal phone tapping scam.
The CBI raided 15 locations of officers and IMA entities and recovered “various incriminating documents, property documents, material objects and digital evidences in an ongoing investigation of a scam”, a CBI official said.
Besides Nimbalkar and Hilori, CBI sleuths conducted searches at the premises of suspended IAS officer and former deputy commissioner, Bengaluru Urban, B M Vijay Shankar; former assistant commissioner, Bengaluru North subdivision, L C Nagaraj; former chief engineer, Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), P D Kumar; and former village accountant, Bengaluru North subdivision, Manjunath. The CBI also raided the premises of former deputy SP, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), E B Sridhara; then police inspector and station house officer, Commercial Street, M Ramesh; and former sub inspector, Commercial Street, Gowri Shankar.
The CBI has conducted searches at 15 locations - 11 in Bengaluru; one each in Mandya, Ramanagara, and Belagavi districts and one in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.Nimbalkar was then IGP, Economic Offences Wing, CID, and Hilori was posted as DCP Bengaluru (East) then.
The CBI stated: “These public servants had conducted inquiries against the IMA Group entities, furnished favourable reports and given clean chits to them. As a result, no action was allegedly initiated against IMA and the fraud continued unhindered due to the clean chit reports given by these officers despite the fact that the Reserve Bank of India had repeatedly flagged the issue about unauthorised collections and raising of deposits by IMA during the State Level Coordination Committee (SLCC) meetings and had also written several letters to various authorities in Karnataka.”
Based on these letters from RBI, inquiries were conducted through these officers. “They allegedly failed in their duties in pointing out the glaring irregularities committed by the IMA, and gave clean chits. Investigation into the expenditure statements of IMA revealed the alleged payments of huge bribe amounts on multiple occasions by the founder and managing director Mohammed Mansoor Khan and other IMA directors to these officials,” the CBI spokesperson added.
The CBI had registered a case on August 30 in the IMA scam on the request of the state government and further notification from the Centre. The case was earlier being investigated by Karnataka Special Investigation Team.
Mansoor and other IMA entities had illegally collected deposits from the public in the form of investments on various ponzi schemes with a promise of getting high returns. Most of the deposits were allegedly misappropriated by Mansoor and other IMA entities for acquiring assets on their personal names and names of family members. “The accused have allegedly paid huge bribes to public servants and others as protection money to carry out their illegal activities,” the officer added.