New Delhi/Bengaluru: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted searches against former Karnataka minister R Roshan Baig and a Congress MLA in connection with a money laundering investigation into the alleged Rs 4,000 IMA ponzi scam, officials said.
They said multiple premises of Baig and his associates are being raided by the agency under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Two of his premises in Shivajinagar of Bengaluru and that of Congress MLA from Chamrajpet in Bengaluru, B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, and a travel company linked to him are being searched.
Searches were also conducted in some locations in Mumbai.
The Congress MLA is stated to have had a purported property transaction with then MD of IMA Group Mansoor Khan. This transaction was declared by Zameer Ahmed Khan in his election affidavit.
Baig, earlier arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in this case, was suspended from the Congress after the alleged scam came to light.
Baig is out on bail at present.
The Enforcement Directorate action is linked to its probe in the 4000-crore I-Monetary Advisor (IMA) alleged ponzi scam case, taking cognisance of a CBI FIR and a charge sheet.
The CBI, in April, had filed a charge sheet before a special CBI court in Bengaluru and had named Baig, Mansoor Khan, IMA Group and Baig's company Daanish Publications and others.
"It was alleged that the accused former minister received several crores of rupees from IMA funds for election expenditure.
"It was further alleged that the accused was also utilising the said funds for day-to-day expenditure, including salaries of employees of his firm. It was also alleged that the accused has spent the funds for various social and cultural activities in his constituency to increase his popularity," a CBI spokesperson had said in a statement post the filing of the charge sheet.
The alleged IMA scam pertains to over Rs 4,000 crore collected by IMA Group from over a lakh gullible investors in the name of providing attractive returns on investment following Islamic ways.
The CBI has alleged that the money was diverted to Baig, a minister in the erstwhile Congress government, led by Siddaramaiah, so that the IMA Group could continue its illegal activities, CBI officials had said.
The CBI had registered four cases in connection with the scam and has filed multiple charge sheets against 33 accused, including Khan, company directors, several revenue and police officials.
"It was alleged that the said Group had raised unauthorised deposits and cheated the public by failing to repay the principal and as well as the promised returns.
"These funds were allegedly diverted for acquiring properties, paying bribe amounts, etc. Several properties, including moveable and immovable, were identified and attached under KPIDFE (Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments) Act, 2004 by the competent authority," the CBI had said....