IMA scam
People gathered in front of AS Convention Hall in Shivajinagar, Bengaluru to file a complaint against IMA Ponzi schemeAmal Rasheedali

Karnataka has had its fair share with infamous schemes and Ponzi scams, yet the people are still lured into it in the name of a better investment and as a retirement plan.

IMA is no different from these where the victim (investor) is unaware of the source of profits they are receiving. They believe that profits are coming from the product sales or other means whereas they are receiving other investors fund as their profits.

Here, Mansoor Khan's IMA has taken sides with the Muslim community mostly to lure in the investors by paying profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors in the name of Islamic banking and halal investments. The IMA managing director Mansoor Khan was not just a fraud rather a prominent face of the community in Shivajinagar area. With his other legitimate businesses like hospital schools and other initiatives, Khan had shadowed his fraudulent activities under the IMA banner.

While the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has issued a red corner notice against Khan and the media has reported of spotting him at Ras al Khaimah in the UAE, the chances are very slim for the investors to get back their money as most of the structures under IMA has been falling out since his run.

Mohammed Mansoor Khan
Mohammed Mansoor Khan, MD and CEO of IMA groupFacebook

Nearly 90 per cent of the jewellery is missing from IMA jewels, Jayanagar branch and the remaining are valued at Rs 20 crores after the SIT sleuths conducted a raid at the showroom. The jewellery at Shivajinagar was also allegedly emptied out by Khan before he absconded to the middle-east.

A political backup was also given to Khan by the prominent faction of the community with IMA sponsoring several events of a senior political leader from Shivajinagar. This political association had given legitimacy to IMA which gained them the trust of the public.

With the revenue minister RV Deshpande's revelation that Khan had met him along with Shivajinagar legislator Roshan Baig for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government to raise a Rs 600 crore loan for IMA that was still under the radar of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its activities.

The revenue minister said that he did not do any favour for Khan nor IMA. Earlier when RBI issued a notice against IMA, the investigating officers just submitted a loose report claiming that IMA's operations did not attract any action under the provisions of Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Act (KPID).

Khan had alleged MLA Roshan Baig of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not returning it. He had also asked to sell his properties worth Rs 500 crore to settle the investor's money. But with the current estimate, the said amount claimed by Khan is nothing but a grain in the puddle compared to the intensity of the scam.

The picture is still unclear as to how the government is planning to take actions on retrieving the depositor's money. Even though nearly 40,000 complaints registered by the depositors of IMA, the scam is alleged to be more than Rs 2,000 crores, the depositors are still clueless about the government's action plan, if there is going to be any.