Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has given its nod to the CBI for prosecution of two senior IPS officers and three other police personnel in the IMA ponzi scheme in which over a lakh people were allegedly duped ofmore than Rs 4,000 crore after being promised higher returns using Islamic ways of investment. These five had allegedly delayed and suppressed information after an inquiry, giving undue advantage to the I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) ponzi scheme operator Mohammmed Mansoor Khan and others associated with the scam that came to light in June last year, orders issued by the government said.
The government in its September 9 order accorded sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation to prosecute Bengaluru Additional Commissioner Hemant Nimbalkar and Superintendent of Police rank officer Ajay Hilori. Deputy superintendent of police EB Sridhar, inspector M Ramesh and sub-inspector P Gowri Shankar are the others whose prosecution was cleared in a separate order on September 11.
According to the CBI, which took over the probe into the scam in August last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had flagged its concern and conveyed to the state Director General of Police about the wrongdoings of the ponzi scheme operators. Accordingly, the investigation was initially handed over to the Economic Offence Wing of the state CID and as the then head of it Nimbalkar had supervised the probe conducted by Sridhar.
Nimbalkar endorsed the findings of the inquiry conducted by Sridhar and forwarded the report to the DG and IGP ”in which he asserted that the IMA and its group entities are not financial establishments under the definition of Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors (KPID) Act” and re commended closure of the probe, the government order said. The CBI has also charged him with allegedly resisting conducting further inquiry into the matter as directed by the DGP.
”Hemant Nimbalkar, IPS, thus showed undue interest in order to favour Mohammed Mansoor Khan and IMA that he wanted to protect the activities of Mohammed Mansoor Khan and save him from any action by Government under the KPID Act,” the order stated further. Regarding Hilori, the order said as the then DCP of Bengaluru East division he had ”demanded and accepted illegal gratification on various occasions from Mohammed Mansoor Khan through Nizamuddin, Director and Operational Manager, IMA for favouring IMA by delaying the report to RBI and for not taking action in connivance with other public servants on various complaints against the company.
Hilori had allegedly accepted furniture and interior items for his house from IMA when the matter was pending with him by misusing his official position. The others too had allegedly connived with these officers, the order said. According to the CBI sources, the agency has registered four separate FIRs related to the scam and arrested around 25 people, including Khan, the directors and others who benefited from the scheme.
The CBI in its charge sheet has alleged that when the state government received complaints about the shady activities of the IMA, it directed the district authorities to probe it. The then deputy commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district BM Vijay Shankar, assistant commissioner LC Nagaraj and village accountant N Manjunath have already been booked for allegedly favouring the IMA operators.
While Shankar has allegedly died of suicide later,charge sheet has been filed against Nagaraj and Manjunath. The case came to light when Khan fled to Dubai, leaving behind a video message, saying that he was committing suicide because of ”corruption in the state and central governments”.
Khan was arrested on July 21 last year on his arrival in New Delhi.