Bengaluru: Karnataka minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan, who was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its probe into the IMA group ponzi scam, appeared before the agency here on Friday.
The ED, which has registered a money laundering case in the scam in which thousands of depositors are said to have been duped, had last week summoned Khan, Food and Civil Supplies and Minority Welfare minister, for questioning in the case.
According to agency officials, the minister was summoned in connection with selling his property at Richmond Town to IMA owner Mohammed Mansoor Khan. Later, coming out from the ED office, the minister said the ED officials inquired about when he had purchased the property, when he sold it and whether he showed the sale and purchase of property in his declarations.
"I told them I purchased (it) in 2009. I sold it in the sixth month of 2018. They (officials) demanded the sale deed copy, which I gave. They asked me whether I paid income tax for it, I gave them a copy..," the minister told reporters.
He said he had furnished all the details in his affidavit while contesting election and also gave a copy of the declaration made to the Lokayukta. "The officers were content with my reply and told me that there was no need for me to visit them again," Khan said.
Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team, set up by the state government to probe the scam, on Friday arrested an assistant commissioner on charges of allegedly receiving a bribe of Rs 4.5 crore to "cover up wrongdoings" of the company.
The SIT, led by Deputy Inspector General of Police BR Ravikanthe Gowda, said in a statement that it arrested two persons, including assistant commissioner LC Nagaraj, posted in Bengaluru North sub-division.
The SIT said the state government in the past had appointed Nagaraj as a competent authority to probe the IMA fraud following complaints "but he did not investigate the matter properly to benefit the IMA owner and submitted a report to the government covering up the fraud." "It has come to light during investigation that he (Nagaraj) received Rs 4.5 crore in the form of bribe," the statement said.
Manjunath, a village accountant, was also arrested for aiding Nagaraj in preparing the false report, it said. The SIT searched the residence of Nagaraj while it secured police custody of Manjunath for nine days, the statement added.
The team also searched four medical shops belonging to the IMA group, which were located in Shantinagar, BTM Layout and Jayanagar and seized materials worth Rs 1.2 crore. The ED 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 Khan after reports emerged that he had gone underground fearing investments worth crores of about 40,000 investors have tanked.