PRAMESH S JAIN
In a major development in the IMA Ponzi scheme,the Special Investigative team (SIT) headed by DIG,DR.BR.Ravikanthe Gowda under the supervision of DCP Crime,Girish S with his 11 Member team on Monday has arrested Deputy Commissioner,(Urban)BM Vijayshankar in Bengaluru in connection with the scam that has duped over 40,000 people of their money.”
The special investigation team,probing into the IMA Multi-Crore Fraud scam,has arrested Senior IAS officer BM Vijay Shankar who is Bengaluru Deputy Commissioner (Urban) and District Magistrate,Bengaluru Urban,for his alleged role in the scam.
Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru urban district BM Vijay Shankar was arrested on Monday in connection with the I Monetary Advisory case on the charges of receiving bribe of Rs.1.5 crore from Mansoor Khan the founder of the IMA company.
The Indian Administrative Services officer allegedly took a bribe in exchange of a favourable report after the Reserve Bank of India had asked the state government to investigate the firm’s business.So far,Five people which includes two government officials,a nominated corporator,BDA Executive Engineer,and a village accountant along with 13 IMA Directors so till now in last 25 days the SIT sleuths have arrested more than eighteen people involved in this Multi-Crore Fraud IMA Ponzi Scam and has seized IMA properties gold and other valuables worth more than 250 Crores after conducting continuously search on IMA companies and its other Establishments as Frontline Pharmas in various places across city and has seized medicines and other items in the raid.
BM Vijayshankar took charge as the Bengaluru DC Urban in July last year and he is the second senior government official and bureaucrat being arrested in connection with the involvement in the IMA Ponzi Scam case.The earlier arrested government official was assistant commissioner bengaluru north LC Nagaraj.
Senior SIT officer said,On Monday morning, the SIT sleuths brought Deputy commissioner BM Vijay Shankar in for questioning and arrested him later in the evening.The investigators also searched his home.During investigation,it was revealed that Vijay Shankar obtained Rs 1.5 Crore through a village accountant named Manjunath.Vijay Shankar was given the money in exchange for a clearance certificate to IMA,we have arrested him for his involvement in the scam and being a part of the Conspiracy to help IMA.We will produced the accused tomorrow to the court before the magistrate and we will take him into custody for further investigation he said.
On July 6th, the investigating team had arrested Bengaluru North Assistant Commissioner LC Nagaraj and the village accountant, Manjunath, for allegedly taking a bribe of about Rs.4.5 Crore from IMA’s founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan.Nagaraj was reportedly looking into the company after Reserve Bank of India highlighted irregularities.
Nagaraj had issued a public notice against IMA in March this year,However,without probing the irregularities,a clearance certificate was given to RBI allegedly stating that no complaints were received against IMA.Shankar signed off on the clearance certificate.Nagaraj had taken Rs 4.5 crore bribe from Mansoor Khan and 1.5 Crore was given to Shankar.
The Enforcement Directorate,which is also looking into the case,on June 28,issued a notice to Karnataka Minister, BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan to appear before it.The agency also questioned Khan as he had sold his property to the IMA founder.
The Enforcement Directorate had recently lodged a criminal case of money laundering against the IMA Group of Companies and its promoter and managing director Mohammed Mansoor Khan.He has been accused of running a ponzi scheme in Karnataka that has allegedly duped more than 40,000 people of about Rs 2,000 crore.People from Bengaluru,Mysuru,Hyderabad,New Delhi, and Tamil Nadu are said to have invested into the company.
A nominated corporator Syed Mujahid and a Bangalore Development Authority officer identified as Kumar were earlier arrested in connection with the fraud.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the case simultaneously, had recently questioned Karnataka minority welfare minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan as he had sold his property in the city to Mansoor Khan.
The ED which has registered a money laundering case in the scam in which thousands of depositors are said to have been duped, had attached assets worth Rs 209 crore,including 20 immovable properties and bank deposits, in connection with the case.
The BJP has demanded a CBI inquiry into the case. The ED had filed the money laundering case against the IMA group of companies and Mohammed Mansoor Khan after reports emerged that he has gone underground fearing investments worth crores of about 40,000 investors have tanked.
PRAMESH S JAIN