SIT sources told TNM that the investment bonds suggest that the investors’ money was deposited in the IMA Credit Co-operative Society.

IMA investment scam SIT arrests five more directors of company
news Scam Sunday, June 23, 2019 - 13:25

On Saturday, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested five more directors of IMA Credit Cooperative Society Ltd, which is a part of the umbrella organisation – I Monetary Advisory Company Pvt. Ltd. Shadab Ahmed (28), Israr Ahmed (32), Faizal Ahmed (30), Mohammed Idrees (30) and Usman Abrez (33) are the directors of the co-operative society who have been arrested.

IMA duped over 40,000 investors to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore under the pretext of ‘halal’ investment. The scam broke out on June 10, after thousands of investors accused the Managing Director of IMA, Mohammed Mansoor Khan, of cheating them. Following this, the police had arrested eight directors of IMA Group.

SIT sources say that although investors were under the impression that they were investing in IMA, the investment bonds suggest that their money was deposited in the IMA Credit Co-operative Society.

“Mansoor Khan was under the lens of the Income Tax Department because the officials probing him believed he was evading taxes by siphoning money through the Credit Co-operative Society," an SIT source said.

Investigators say that the investors had no clue regarding what "volatile investments" IMA was indulging in.

"The agreement document itself is vague and says returns will be based on market volatility. It also states that IMA is not responsible for the loss of their principal amount. Mansoor Khan had washed his hands off the responsibility of the victims’ money even before the company went under. When we look at the investments bonds or the agreements, there is a suspicion that Mansoor Khan never planned to return their money, to begin with,” the SIT source said.

Mansoor Khan is believed to have fled the country via the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on June 8 when it became evident that the Central Crime Branch (CCB) was probing fraudulent activities of IMA and its founder.

Meanwhile, the Interpol (International Criminal Police Organisation) division of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) issued a blue corner notice against Mansoor on Saturday. A blue corner notice is issued to locate, identify or obtain information regarding a fugitive or an absconding accused person in a criminal investigation.

The SIT has also impounded Mansoor Khan’s passport, making it difficult for him to move from one country to another. “There is suspicion of whether he is in Dubai or in some other country. If we had confirmed that he was in Dubai, we could have tracked his movements easily and Interpol would have been requested to issue a red corner notice (extradition). We are still looking for him and we believe he may be in the UAE,” an SIT source said.

SIT sources say that Mansoor Khan had laid out an elaborate escape plan when the Revenue Department had issued a public notice against him. “We have arrested 13 directors of IMA and the questioning has revealed that his escape plan with crores of rupees of bullion was planned well in advance,” the source said.

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