Days after arresting the Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban), BM Vijay Shankar, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has recovered Rs 2.5 crore cash from the IAS officer. Vijay Shankar was arrested on July 8 on charges of taking a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore from the scam-hit I Monetary Advisory (IMA).
The probe agency issued a press release, stating that the recovered money includes the bribe amount Shankar took from IMA scam kingpin, Mohammed Mansoor Khan. "The remaining Rs 1 crore was also taken in the form of bribe. Shankar had given the entire Rs 2.5 crore to a city-based builder, saying he'd purchase an apartment and a piece of land," the SIT press release said.
The release further said, "The case of bribery by the accused — former DC Vijay Shankar and former AC LC Nagaraj — will be handed over to the Anti-Corruption Bureau for further investigation."
The SIT is probing the alleged multi-crore Ponzi scam run by IMA.
THE IMA JEWELS SCAM CASE
Founder of IMA Jewels Mansoor Khan is accused of duping thousands of investors, mostly Muslims, to the tune of crores of rupees. People from Karnataka as well as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and even Delhi fell into the trap and invested their money in the Ponzi scheme.
Khan is said to be holed up in Dubai.
After fleeing the country last month, Khan had in an audio message accused suspended Congress MLA Roshan Baig of taking Rs 400 crore from him and not refunding it, a charge which was refuted by Baig. Khan also alleged that some bigwigs are behind his firm's collapse and demanded a CBI inquiry into the IMA scam.
Apart from Baig, Khan blamed former Union Minister and senior Congress leader K Rahman Khan, JD(S) MLC Sharavana, one terrorist and several people from different business entities for his company's downfall.
In the video, Khan urged police to arrange his return to India so that he could join the probe. He promised to fully cooperate in the investigation being conducted by an 11-member SIT and also assured to return the investors' money by liquidating the firm's assets.
"Alok Kumar Sir (Bengaluru Police Commissioner), please send the details about whom I need to contact to return. I want to return to India to put forward the truth before your team. I am very hopeful that you will do justice to me," Khan said in a video released on YouTube.
More than 38,000 complaints have been filed against the company, demanding that their money be returned.
Five people including Vijay Shankar and assistant commissioner of Bengaluru North sub-division L C Nagaraj have been arrested by the SIT in connection with the scam.
While Vijay Shankar got Rs 2.5 crore, Nagaraj received Rs 4 crore from Khan to cover up the case and issue favourable reports repeatedly for IMA Jewels, after the Reserve Bank of India expressed concern about the functioning of the firm.
Also, a corporator, a Bangalore Development Authority officer and a village accountant have been arrested. Apart from these, the SIT had raided many IMA showrooms and recovered cash, gold, silver, valuable gems and costly perfumes.