BENGALURU: With the number of complaints increasing in the IMA Jewels fraud case, the state government has handed over the investigation to the Central Crime Branch (CCB). 14,000 investors have registered written complaints with the Commercial Street police so far.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy assured panic-stricken investors that action would be taken against the guilty. He said: "I have spoken to the Home Minister M B Patil and asked him to settle the case soon."
A five-member team has been formed to nab IMA Jewels' managing director Mansoor Khan and a few others from its board of directors who are at large. A senior police officer said that all directors and staff of the IMA group went absconding on Monday. Police personnel have been deployed at all their residences.
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The police have seized the bank accounts of the accused. They allegedly discovered a transaction of Rs 17 crore that was made before Khan fled the country. A special team including CCB sleuths will be sent to the UAE to nab Khan.
One of the victims. Anshuman Rath, tweeted: "Since he was paying very high returns, we relied on him"--the lure of high returns is malaise everywhere: dreams shattered, livelihoods lost."
The Karnataka Home Minister, as quoted by ANI, explained that IMA Jewels is a limited company wherein every investor is a shareholder whatever be the amount. Accordingly, they trade it into gold. He said, "There has been malpractice. We have taken it very seriously."
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JD(S) MLA Zameer Ahmed tweeted on Tuesday that he had submitted a letter, on behalf of the victims, to M B Patil requesting him to take stern action against accused. The letter was co-signed by MLAs Janab Rizwan, N A Haris and Rizwan Arshad.
BJP's Shoba Karandlaje tweeted saying that that the IMA Jewels owner was found guilty in 2018 in a similar case.
Government officials are reportedly set to have a meeting with the investors before taking further action. Mohammed Khalid Ahmed, one of the victims, filed a case against IMA Jewels on Monday, claiming that he has invested Rs 1.34 crores but did not get any returns so far.