The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed another FIR against top government officials after the agency raided 15 locations in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh in connection with I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)Twitter

This is the third FIR filed by CBI in the multi-crore Ponzi scam that had defrauded thousands of people. Then Deputy Commissioner BM Vijay Shankar, IAS, suspended assistant commissioner LC Nagaraj and Manjunath, who is an accountant, have been named in the FIR for misusing their position and extorting money to run the fraudulent scam.

According to reports, Shankar, former deputy commissioner of Bengaluru Urban, received a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore and former assistant commissioner of Bengaluru North, Nagaraj, accepted a bribe of Rs 4 crore from the owners of IMA through Manjunath.

IMA scam
IMA Jewels showroomtwitter

The Karnataka government had appointed LC Nagaraj as a competent authority to probe over the functioning of IMA after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular against the firm. Nagaraj was aware of the financial fraud committed by IMA but concealed the facts and gave a no-objection certificate (NOC) to IMA kingpin Mohammed Mansoor Khan in order to raise a bank loan, in return for Rs 4.5 crore bribe.

Nagaraj and BM Vijay Shankar were arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in July for their involvement in the scam. The SIT also recovered Rs 2.5 crore from Vijay Shankar's home.

What is IMA scam?

Owned by its kingpin Mansoor Khan, IMA was launched in 2006 when the market was down. The company used to own and deal in bullion trading, infrastructure development, publishing house, hypermarkets , healthcare services including a multi-speciality hospital and educational institutions.

Khan had lured the investors into his venture by offering them high returns but claiming that it was a halal venture. He had defrauded nearly 40,000 investors to the tune of thousands of crores by promising them high returns. IMA was operated under the Limited Liability Partnership model (LLP) while collecting contributions from the people illegally as LLP cannot raise money from the public.

But Khan defrauded the investors by not paying back their returns. The investigating officers claimed that Khan had not even paid the principal deposits to his investors. On June 10, he had released an audio clip claiming that he was going to commit suicide as several top government officials had taken money from him and were refusing to pay back. He had absconded to the middle-east and was on the run but was caught by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 19.

CBI raids 15 locations

The CBI on Friday had raided 15 locations in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh including, 11 in Bengaluru. The raids were conducted at the residences of former IG Economic Offences Wing CID Hemant Nimbalkar, SP Ajay Hilori, DySP CID EB Sridhar, Inspector and SHO Commercial Street Police Station M Ramesh, SI of Commercial Street police station Gowri Shankar, then ACP Bengaluru North Sub Division and competent authority under KPID Act LC Nagaraj, then DCO Bengaluru Urban District BM Vijayshankar and PD Kumar, then BDA chief engineer.