The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the multi-crore I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam has seized 5,880 fake gold bars of 50 gms each, hidden inside an apartment owned by the firm's founder, Mohammed Mansoor Khan.
The fake gold bars, covered in copper and weighing a total of 303 kgs, were unearthed from an enclosure near the swimming pool of a seven-storied building in Bengaluru's Richmond Town.
According to the investigating officers, these fake gold bars were displayed at IMA jewels to lure customers. Khan used to claim that the investor's money was converted into gold bars and was used for bullion trading. The IMA kingpin falsely assured the investors that their deposited amount would be safe, even if the company suffered a loss.
Khan, who is currently under judicial custody of the SIT, revealed the information about the hidden gold plated copper bars during his interrogation. Before Khan absconded to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on June 8, he had directed one of his employees, Nizamuddin Azeemuddin, to move the fake gold bars from IMA jewels to the apartment.
The Karnataka government has reportedly seized 23 properties, valuing Rs 300 crore, from Bengaluru, Kolarm, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Davangere belonging to IMA and Khan. After Khan fled the country, cheating nearly 40,000 of his investors to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore, he was brought back to India by the SIT sleuths.
Mansoor Khan was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after he arrived at the Delhi airport. The ED got the custody first as they had booked him under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and later gave the custody to SIT.
During the interrogation, Khan also revealed that he had paid Rs 1,750 crore as bribe to top politicians and government officials to sustain his fraudulent company. He also claimed that he has kept a record of all the dealings and transactions made by him.