BENGALURU: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has been handed over the probe into the multi-crore I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam in which over 40,000 people have lost their money, may question a former chief minister and a former Bengaluru city police commissioner. Along with them, the names of 13 other bureaucrats and politicians have also cropped up.
Five days after the case was handed over to the CBI, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which was so far investigating the scam, is busy compiling the statements of the accused and witnesses. The entire case file is said to be running into 15-20,000 pages and the chargesheet is expected to be filed on September 9.
As per the contents of the report, accessed by The New Sunday Express, the scam kingpin and IMA director Mohammed Mansoor Ali Khan has, in his statement to the SIT, claimed that he had sent money to the former CM before the 2018 election and stated that the former Bengaluru city police commissioner.
had demanded Rs 25 crore from him. “Khan has stated that Rs 5 crore was sent to the former CM through three people. He has named other politicians and bureaucrats too. All the statements will be submitted to the CBI. We are busy compiling it and the report may come up to 20,000 pages,” said a senior SIT officer. “Khan is an accused and can claim anything. But the facts need to be verified,” added an interrogating officer.
In his statement, Khan has also alleged that he had paid money to a senior BJP leader through one Nizamuddin. However, when the SIT quizzed Nizamuddin, the officers were told that he had not met Khan.
“These need to be verified by CBI,” the SIT officials said.
Mansoor has allegedly said that he escaped from Bengaluru as the IPS officer had demanded Rs 25 crore from him.
“When asked who was with the officer, Mansoor said it was only the two of them. There is no evidence to establish this,” said the Special Investigation Team officer.
Khan also claimed that crores had been paid out to several television channels, the officer added.
The SIT has stopped further investigation into the case as they have to complete the paperwork, right from documenting the statements to tying up the loose ends in the case before it is handed over to the CBI. The central agency will have to be given a detailed report on the investigation so far.
“From mahajars to statements, everything has to be documented. It is a lot of paperwork. We have been asked to submit the documents to them as early as possible,” said the officer.
The central agency will not be filing the chargesheet as the investigation so far was conducted by the SIT and September 9 is the last day to submit it to the court.
“The SIT has to file the chargesheet as the CBI has very less time on hand. The entire case file is in Kannada and if the CBI has to do it, they will have to get the translation done, which will be difficult for them,” said another officer.
Interestingly, in most of the alleged financial transactions, the SIT has not been able to dig up any evidence.
“There are written statements of the 25 accused who have been arrested. In very few cases, we could find corroborative evidence. However, that also can be challenged,” pointed out the senior police officer.
While Mansoor claimed that the transactions were negotiated on phone calls and WhatsApp texts and calls, the SIT has not been able to track those calls and messages. Many of the phones confiscated do not have the conversations stored as they have either been deleted or the phones which they used then have been sold.
“It has been a herculean task for us to track the phone calls, retrieve call records, WhatsApp messages and calls. A lot of work has been done,” claimed the officer.