Bengaluru Ponzi scam: IMA founder Mansoor Khan may have fled to Dubai on June 8

The police are looking into METT Travels, which they believe was the agency that helped Khan obtain his visa.
Bengaluru Ponzi scam: IMA founder Mansoor Khan may have fled to Dubai on June 8
Bengaluru Ponzi scam: IMA founder Mansoor Khan may have fled to Dubai on June 8
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Amidst allegations of defrauding over 32,000 people to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore, I Monetary Advisory (IMA), founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan is believed to have fled the country even before the company shut down.

Central Crime Branch (CCB) sources revealed that based on a tip off from the RBI, the sleuths had begun investigating Mansoor Khan’s financial dealing a week before he absconded. Documents being circulated on WhatsApp with the insignia of UAE Interior Ministry suggest that Mansoor Khan had fled the country on June 8.

CCB sources say that Mansoor Khan was summoned for questioning on June 6 based on directions of DG and IGP Neelamani Raju regarding possible fraudulent activities perpetrated by IMA. The Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the financial scam believes that Mansoor Khan had prior knowledge about his arrest a month before the scam came to light.

“It seems he sketched out an elaborate plan. So far, his wife and two children aged 12 and 4 years are also nowhere to be found. Preliminary probe revealed that they may have fled Bengaluru in late February or early March. We are checking the veracity of the immigration document being circulated on WhatsApp. He had received the visa on May 5, which means he had planned the escape a month in advance,” an SIT source said.

SIT sleuths are probing to see whether Mansoor Khan’s family members too fled to Dubai way before he did. “We are in touch with METT Travels, which we believe is the agency Khan used to obtain his visa. We are checking to see if they helped obtain visa for his wife and children as well,” the source added.

According to TOI, Mohammed Mansoor Khan could not have fled to Dubai without the help of local authorities. A senior Karnataka Minister is believed to have lobbied aggressively for a Rs 600-crore bailout of Mansoor Khan, the story says.

Khan had allegedly approached a bank for the Rs 600-crore loan. However, after the Revenue Department put out a public notice of Mansoor Khan’s fraudulent practices earlier this year, the bank had demanded a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Revenue Department.

Mansoor Khan is said to have approached the minister, who obtained the NOC. However, this was allegedly shot down by a senior IAS official, who refused to sign the NOC.

“It is possible that Mansoor Khan knew that his company would have to shut down sooner or later and he had made plans to escape before being arrested. He even recorded two sound clips. The bank loan did not come through and he was in a position where he could not pay the premiums to his investors. The number of new investors kept declining too. When the CCB called him for questioning, there was not an inkling that he could have fled or he would have been arrested,” the SIT source added.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday registered a case of money laundering against IMA Group, for duping over 32,000 investors through its Ponzi scheme. The ED’s zonal office in Bengaluru filed an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) and has added section of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to the ECIR, TOI says.

In addition, a 65-year-old investor Sirajuddin, has moved the Karnataka High Court, asking for a CBI probe into the case. Sirajuddin claims that he had invested Rs 10 lakh in IMA in October 2018. The hearing is posted for Monday.

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