BENGALURU: The CBI on Friday raided senior IPS officers Hemant Nimbalkar and Ajay Hilori, besides other police and government officials, in connection with the multi-core I Monetary Advisory (IMA) investment scam.
The searches were conducted at 15 locations in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, including 11 locations in Bengaluru, one each in Mandya, Ramanagara, Belagavi and Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. It is learnt that multiple agencies and a team of chartered accountants, forensic auditors, bankers and others carried out the searches. The IPS officers' names had cropped up when the Special Investigation Team was probing the case and also after the CBI took over the investigation from SIT. While Mr Nimbalkar was the IGP, Criminal Investigation Department and Economic Offences, Mr Hilori was the Deputy Commissioner (East) when IMA was probed in 2018.
Mr Nimbalkar is now serving as the Additional Commissioner of Police (Administration). His office at CID headquarters was raided by the sleuths of SIT in July last week.
Friday’s raids were also targeted at Deputy SP (CID) E.B. Sridhara, Inspector of Commercial Street Police Station M. Ramesh, Sub-Inspector of Commercial Street Police Station Gowri Shankar, ACP (Bengaluru North) L.C. Nagaraj, and DC, Bengaluru Urban, B.M. VIjayashankar.
The residences of the then village accountant, Bengaluru North Sub Division, Manjunatha, and the then chief manager, Bangalore Development Authority, P.D. Kumar too were searched. All official designations are as of 2018 when IMA was probed.
All these officials conducted enquiries against IMA group entities, furnished favourable reports and gave them a clean chit. As a result, no action was allegedly initiated against the company and the fraud continued unhindered.
The RBI repeatedly flagged the issue of unauthorised fund collection and raising of deposits by IMA at state-level coordination committee meetings and had also written several letters to various authorities in Karnataka, CBI officials said.
They said that during searches, various incriminating documents, property documents, material objects and digital evidence were recovered.
Mr Nimbalkar and Mr Hilori were already questioned in September.
The IMA scam committed by its founder-director Mohammad Mansoor Khan is estimated at `4,000 crore. Over 50,000 investors have been cheated by the company....