Three petitioners from Telangana approached the High Court seeking CID investigation in IMA’s ‘halal’ Ponzi scam as it has interstate ramifications.

IMA Ponzi scam victims from Telangana directed by HC to file complaints with CIDMansoor Khan, IMA Group Founder
news Ponzi Scam Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 18:00

Three victims of the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam, who approached the Telangana High Court, were directed, on Saturday, to file a formal complaint with the Crime Investigation Department (CID) with proof by August 2. The three persons from Hyderabad and Medak districts in the state had approached the court after losing their Rs 40 lakh investment in the ‘halal’ Ponzi scheme. 

Mirza Jaweed Baig and Waseem Mudafar from Hyderabad and Syed Mohammed Hyder from Medak petitioned before the court that the IMA case should be investigated by the CID as it has interstate ramifications. The trio wanted the Telangana High Court to direct the CID to take up a probe into the scam. 

The I Monetary Advisory Group founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who is now under arrest, is accused of cheating investors to the tune of about Rs 3,000 crore. He fled India around June 13, when the scam surfaced in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Mansoor, who has been absconding since then, returned to India on July 19.  

The petitioner Mirza Jaweed Baig had invested Rs 20 lakh and Hyder Rs 15.5 lakh, while Waseem lost Rs 5 lakh of her savings in the ‘halal’ Ponzi scheme. 

SM Saifullah, the Counsel for the petitioners, argued that Mansoor Khan earned the trust of the Muslim community with the help from Islamic clerics, getting them to certify the Ponzi scheme as ‘halal’ (permissible) under the Islamic faith. The council told the court that the IMA promised monthly dividends in the range of 2.75 % and 8% but allegedly collected Rs 5,000 crore from small investors and depositors across Telangana.

Read: IMA scam: K’taka HC directs state govt to appoint senior competent authority in probe

However, IMA started defaulting on its payments to their investors from March this year. “It’s a Ponzi scheme, which operates based on the rotation of money. Old investors are paid with money collected from new depositors,” Saifullah said in his petition, which accused the IMA promoters of funnelling depositors’ money into gold bullion, jewellery and real-estate.

The petitioners arguing in the Telangana High Court allege that IMA violated various sections of the Telangana Depositors Protection Act, the Prize Chit and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 and other provisions under the Indian Penal Code. The court posted the case for further hearing to August 2.

More victims, from Maharashtra

After seeing reports of the scam in Karnataka and Telangana, the victims of IMA Ponzi scheme from Maharashtra are also now mulling over filing separate cases against the promoters of IMA in Pune. TNM caught up with some victims of the scam from Maharastra. Some of the investors were also investors in the Heera Groups halal Ponzi scam run by Nowhera Shiekh. 

 Read: How Heera Group scammed over 1.75 lakh people using faith and a web of deception

"We are collecting documents at the moment to file a complaint in the local police station. We don’t know what to do,” says Shiekh Mahboob, who along with his seven family members lost Rs 34 lakh worth investments in IMA. "Most victims are yet to come forward as they feel if these people go to jail, they would never return the money," he added. 

The victims of Heera Gold and IMA are presently organising and coordinating with each other. They have also been holding investors’ meet across the country over the last week.

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