With a yet another scam involving crores of rupees and thousands of lives India witnesses the loopholes in the system. Case is booked, matters are investigated, reports are submitted, headlines are made. But, what for? Since at the end of all this the investor who lost money gains nothing.
The ED had recently filed a criminal case of money laundering against the IMA group of companies and Mansoor Khan (also the managing director of the group) after reports emerged that he has gone underground fearing investments worth crores of about 40,000 investors have tanked. The total amount of the attachment is about ₹209 crore.
Khan had promised returns ranging from 2.5 to 3 per cent month to the investors, who are mainly from the Muslim community. The scam had come to light after a video of his purported statement claiming that the investments have been lost, surfaced early this month.
Thousands of depositors are said to have been duped in alleged IMA group ponzi scam of Karnataka. While Rs 98 lakh was found deposited in 51 bank accounts, Rs 11 crore was kept in a HDFC bank account, operational under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY), the ED said.
The ED said Khan had deposited cash of about Rs 44 crore in various bank accounts during the demonetisation period and as a result of Income Tax Department action against the IMA group, he and the IMA group had paid a tax of Rs 22 crore. In a statement, the agency said the value of the 20 immovable properties attached as per the latest order is about Rs 197 crore and their worth has been obtained by approved government valuers.
As IMA started to unravel, Mansoor disappeared. Outrage against IMA and the politicians who patronised Mansoor was palpable. “Defaulters like Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya have fled taking loans from public sector banks and we know what happened. I have no hope of getting my money back,” said Syed Tanzeem, who has lost around ₹5 lakh.
The Karnataka government has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) of the police to probe the case which has already arrested seven directors of the group.