HD Kumaraswamy orders SIT probe

Protesters had demanded that the state government constitute an SIT or CCB (Central Crime Branch) team to evaluate the worth of available assets.

Bengaluru: Within a week of Islam's biggest Ramadan festivities came to an end, the much-touted "Halal Investment" multi-crore ponzi scheme has gone bust and over 7,500 complaints have been registered against IMA Jewels company across the state.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday took to Twitter to announce that the state government is ordering a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the scam.

An audio clip allegedly recorded by IMA managing director Mohammed Mansoor Khan, (veracity of tape content could not be independently verified by Deccan Chronicle) announcing that he was going to commit suicide because of the financial burden at IMA sent investors to the IMA office in Shivajinagar on Monday.

Mr Kumaraswamy said, "IMA Jewels issue has been taken up seriously. The government understands the situation of investors. I have also spoken to Home Minister M.B. Patil about the issue. The case has been handed over to Central Crime Branch. Action will be taken against culprits."

Protesters had demanded that the state government constitute an SIT or CCB (Central Crime Branch) team to evaluate the worth of available assets.

"In this audio, the IMA founder, Mansoor Khan had mentioned that some ministers were involved. It should be investigated and they should be arrested and punished. They have to pay back all our money. The state government needs to take strict actions these errant ministers," several investors demanded.

While an investor Kashiv said that he had invested around 25 lakh a year back and had been receiving 2-3 t hree per cent profit for the past nine months but it suddenly stopped. "The IMA representatives had maintained that the inflow of money was restricted due to Lok Sabha elections in the country. Therefore, they were failing on payments. We believed them without even giving it a second thought," he rued.

Earlier in the day, Minority Affairs Minister B. Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan led delegations of Muslim legislators and leaders to both Chief Minister, H. D. Kumaraswamy and Home minister M.B. Patil seeking speedy legal action against IMA founder Mansoor Khan.

Home Minister M.B. Patil too assured that the state government has taken up the issue seriously. "This (IMA Jewels) is a limited company wherein every investor is a shareholder whatever is the amount invested. Accordingly, they trade it into gold. There has been malpractice. We have taken it very seriously," Mr Patil responded.

The IMA group has businesses in several verticals, including bullion trading, retail jewellery, gold finance, infrastructure development, housing, education, health, book publishing and print media. They had collected huge funds from the public predominantly belonging to Muslims, promising high rates of returns and touted as it "Halal investment".

Meanwhile, rumours are flying thick and fast that the owner of IMA Jewels Mohammed Mansoor Khan along with his grandmother, third and fourth wives and children have escaped from the country with Rs 1,200 crore.

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