Bengaluru: Soon after IMA scam mastermind Mansoor Khan released a video saying that he would return to India within 24 hours, former Karnataka minister and Congress MLA R Roshan Baig was detained by the Special Investigation Team in connection with the case from Kempegowda International Airport.
Baig was about to leave Bengaluru on a private aircraft on Monday evening when he was detained for questioning, sources said.
"Baig has been detained for questioning from Kempegowda International Airport when he was about to take off in a private chartered aircraft to unconfirmed destination. It will be verified whether his sudden plan to leave Bengaluru is anything to do with recent release of video in Youtube by IMA prime accused Mansoor Khan," SIT said.
Baig was supposed to appear before the probe team on Monday in the money laundering case, but did not saying that he had some urgent work.
A former minister in the previous Siddaramaiah government, Baig landed in the IMA controversy after the company owner Khan alleged that Baig took Rs 400 crore from him but did not return it. Khan is the prime accused in the multi crore IMA scam.
The MLA wanted to appear on July 25 but the SIT directed him to depose on July 19 instead, SIT said.
"Regarding the appearance of MLA Mr Roshan Baig, before the SIT, he has consented to appear before SIT on July 25. But due to the necessity of speeding up the investigation on the part of the SIT, a second notice is served to him to appear on July 19," the SIT said in a statement.
The MLA had refuted the charges calling them baseless and frivolous.
Baig has been sulking for quite sometime and had flayed party leaders Siddaramaiah and state president Dinesh Gundu Rao for the party's poor show in the Lok Sabha election. The party later suspended him for his "anti-party" activities.
At the height of the resignation drama in Karnataka, he joined the bandwagon of 16 MLAs who tendered their resignation from the assembly, pushing the ruling coalition to the verge of collapse.
Hours after his resignation on July 9, the SIT served him a notice asked him to appear on July 11 but the MLA sought time and said he would appear on Monday but did not turn up.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Mansoor Khan in a video message on YouTube said he would return to India "within 24 hours" to refund money to the investors.
He said he wanted to come early but due to health issues he could not. He claimed he had high diabetes and blood pressure and that there were three blockages in his heart.
"By the grace of God, I will back to India within 24 hours. I have faith in the Indian judiciary," Khan said in the video.
He added that once he landed in India, he will hand over documents and details to the police department.
"We will try to get the money back from those who extorted from me and took bribe," he said.
The Enforcement Directorate has filed a 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.
Before he went missing, Mansoor Khan threatened to commit suicide saying that corruption in the state government as well as the central government pushed him to the wall.
The SIT has arrested 21 people so far, including the deputy commissioner of Bengaluru urban district and an assistant commissioner of Bengaluru North sub-division, who allegedly took bribe from Khan for covering up the case.
A Muslim cleric is also among the arrested, the SIT said.
(With PTI inputs)