Bengaluru: While the multi-crore IMA investment scam is getting murkier by the day and the number of complaints has reached the 25,000-mark, politicians are being blamed for the sudden rise of IMA from a minnow to a mighty investment company.
Once an obscure firm, IMA rose to fame only five years ago when its now-absconding Managing Director Mohammad Mansoor Khan flashed his photographs with prominent politicians on social media platforms.
The photographs did wonders and the floodgates of investment opened for IMA. Soon after, the 13-year-old company, which was mainly handling gold trading, started expanding its business into education, infrastructure development, medical and FMCG sectors. Knowingly or unknowingly, politicians played the part of star campaigners for Mansoor's IMA, which had over 30,000 investors from across the country and investments of over Rs 2,000 crore when it went belly up.
Mansoor fled the country last week after releasing an audio clip in which he threatened to commit suicide over the alleged harassment by Shivajinagar MLA R. Roshan Baig. But till then, they were allegedly close to each other or at least that was what one made to think from a number of photographs they clicked together and put out on social media sites. There were rumours too that Mr Baig was a partner in IMA, but he denied it recently.
Mansoor never advertised his investment schemes in any media platforms. He lured gold buyers by offering them huge discounts in making charges. Once the customer visited the showroom, he was lured into investment schemes offering monthly returns.
Mansoor made good use of his photographs with politicians as they did their bit by giving a false sense of security to investors. “We always believed that IMA was not like other blade companies. It was old, the returns were regular and many political leaders, especially Muslims, visited Mansoor which made us trust the company," one of the investors said....