The special investigation team (SIT) probing the IMA group ponzi scam has arrested the deputy commissioner of Bengaluru urban district BM Vijay Shankar on Monday on the charges of receiving Rs 1.5 crore from absconding ‘halal’ investment group owner Mansoor Khan.
The IAS officer had allegedly taken the bribe to give a favourable report after the RBI asked the state government to probe the company’s businesses, confirmed the police.
This latest arrest by the SIT takes the total number of arrests related to the Ponzi scam to five.
Recently, the special investigation team (SIT) probing the Ponzi scheme had arrested Assistant Commissioner of Bengaluru North division, LC Nagaraj for his alleged involvement in the case. Nagaraj allegedly received a bribe of Rs 4.5 crore to give a favourable report for IMA, which was flagged by the RBI.
A corporator and a Bangalore Development Authority officer were earlier arrested in connection with the fraud.
Moreover, as the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the case simultaneously, tightened its noose on the IMA Ponzi scheme, more and more skeletons started tumbling out of the closet. Another Congress Karnataka minister, BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan was summoned by ED for questioning in the case.
Prior to this, senior Congress leader and MLA Roshan Baig’s name had surfaced in the case after he was accused by the IMA founder of taking Rs 400 crore from the latter and not returning. The absconding ‘halal’ investment owner, Mansoor Khan had released an audio clip, in which he had accused Baig of arm twisting and refusing to return Rs 400 crore.
Congress legislator from Khanapur in Belagavi Anjali Nimbalkar’s husband and Karnataka IPS officer, Hemant Nimbalkar’s name had also surfaced in the investigation as he had also given a clean chit to Mansoor Khan.
Moreover, the ED which had attached assets worth Rs 209 crore in connection with the case, including 20 immovable properties and bank deposits, has also been in the process of issuing a Red Corner Notice against Mansoor Khan and examining the possibility of invoking of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act against him.
The IMA promoter has been charged with perpetrating the Ponzi scheme, which allegedly duped 40,000 investors to the tune of over Rs 2000 crore. So far, the police have received around 42,000 complaints from investors, since Mohammed Mansoor Khan absconded on June 7.
The BJP has demanded a CBI inquiry into the case.
Khan has, however, expressed willingness to return to India and cooperate in the probe. Recently, Khan uploaded the 18-minute long video where he had offered to surrender and vowed to expose big politicians after coming back to India.