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Top Cops Face Scam Heat: Karnataka Govt Approves CBI Probe Against 2 IPS Officers Over Ponzi Scheme

File photo of Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa.

File photo of Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa.

The agency had said in November that its preliminary investigations had revealed deliberate inaction and favours to the company behind the scam on the part of several public servants and authorities.

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has given approval to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the purported role of two senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in an alleged Rs 4,000-crore scam, News18 learnt on Wednesday. The agency had written to chief minister BS Yediyurappa last month, seeking his sanction to prosecute Hemanth Nimbalkar and Ajay Hilory.

The charge is that the company I Monetary Advisory Pvt Ltd (IMA) and associated firms had lured unsuspecting investors by offering higher returns. The Ponzi scheme conned tens of thousands of investors, mostly from the Muslim community, in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It promised investors ‘halal-compliant’ investments – which are in accordance with Shariah, as it did not use the deposited money for giving out loans or for any business related to liquor, entertainment or other ‘haram’ practices.

The government gave the CBI its go-ahead this month after finding prima facie evidence against the two officers, the order states.

"Investigation of the CBI disclosed that there was a concerted effort on the part of the various police officials to protect the interests of Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the MD and CEO of IMA, and of IMA, instead of protecting the interest of investors and depositors... and accordingly they submitted improper enquiry reports and recommended no action against IMA and as a quid-pro-quo, received bribes/valuable things from IMA,” the order granting permission to the investigating agency states.

The case blew up last year when Khan fled to Dubai, leaving behind a video message, saying he was committing suicide because of "corruption in the state and central governments". He was arrested on July 21 on his arrival in New Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate.

The CBI took over the probe into the scam in September 2019 based on a request from the Karnataka government. The agency said in November that its preliminary investigations had revealed deliberate inaction and favours to the IMA group on the part of several public servants and authorities.

Nimbalkar, currently additional commissioner (admin) in Bengaluru, was earlier heading the economic offences wing at the time of the scam investigation, while Hilori was deputy commissioner of police (Bengaluru East), under whose jurisdiction the IMA office was located.

first published:January 29, 2020, 20:08 IST