With meagre savings gone, many from economically weaker sections in dire straits. Mujahid Deputy reports on the biggest ponzi scheme to hit the city’s poorest of the poor.
One the worst hit in the IMA scam are the people from economically weaker sections, who invested their hard earned money hoping that their lives would improve a little.
Many of them were daily wage earners and eked out a living by earning not more than Rs 300 a day. They are now totally devastated with whatever meager savings they had totally wiped out.
Though Special Investigation Team (SIT) is investigating the scam, these poor investors see no light at the end of the tunnel.
Deccan Chronicle spoke to many such investors, who had invested between Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh, with a hope of getting monthly returns which they could use for medicines and other expenses.
Rahman (65), a resident of R.T. Nagar, had invested his entire savings of Rs 2 lakh in IMA a year ago and was getting around 5,000 every month, which he used to buy medicines and daily expenses. His world came crashing on June 10, when he heard about IMA scam and disappearance of Mansoor Khan.
"I couldn't react for minutes after I heard the news. I was concerned about my investment, the only saving I had was invested in IMA. I began thinking of my future as I don't have anyone to look after me. My condition is such that I should end my life or beg for a living," he said.
He said he got to know about IMA in 2015, through one of his neighbours. As his neighbour was receiving returns promptly, Rahman too decided to invest all his saving.
"I started getting returns 45 days after I invested the money and received around Rs 2,500 every month in my bank account. I had no problem with the company until March 2019, when I stopped getting the returns. I went to the office several times but that gave one or other excuse and said the amount would be credited soon. Now I am here with no money and no hope to live," Rahman said. His wife who had accompanied him to AS Convention Hall to file a complaint was weeping inconsolably.
The couple has little hope of getting their money back, considering the procedural hassles. “I don't think I would get it before a I die,” he said.
Another investor Fatima had invested Rs 5 lakh that she had saved to buy jewellery for her daughter's marriage, which was fixed for October. Now, she is making rounds of IMA and Commercial Street police station with the hope of hearing some positive news.
The state government has assured the investors to help them get back their money and nab Mansoor Khan soon. The SIT has already seized IMA's jewellery showrooms in Shivajinagar and Jayanagar and seized gold, diamond and silver. It is now in the process of identifying his properties in and outside Karnataka.