The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the multi-crore IMA ponzi scam arrested a 65-year-old moulvi on Thursday, July 11, for allegedly encouraging people to invest in the company.
The accused, Haneez Afsar Azeezi, is a cleric at a mosque in Shivajinagar, Bengaluru.
"The accused had encouraged thousands of men and women to invest in IMA. During prayer meetings, he had defined investing in IMA as a religious responsibility and each Muslim should stand by Khan (Mansoor) and make him one of the biggest business tycoons of Bengaluru," SIT sources told Times of India.
Azeezi was allegedly gifted a bungalow, worth Rs 3 crore in HBR Layout, by IMA founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan for luring people to invest in his company.
The arrest comes days after SIT arrested the Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru (Urban), BM Vijayshankar, on July 8, for taking a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore from the firm. Vijayshankar, an IAS officer, allegedly took the bribe from Khan for preparing a favourable report on the fraudulent company.
Vijayshankar had also approved a clearance certificate submitted by the North division ACP for revenue, LC Nagaraj. Nagaraj was arrested on July 5 for taking a bribe of Rs 4.5 crore from Khan for issuing a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the IMA group, allowing the firm to raise a loan.
The SIT also summoned former Congress leader Roshan Baig to appear before it on Thursday, over his alleged involvement in the case. Khan, in an audio clip, had said that Baig took Rs 400 crore from him and failed to return the money. Khan added that he and his family were threatened by the lawmaker due to which, they had to flee from the country.