Bangalore IMA Jewellery scam: More than 3,000 cases booked against founder

Darshan Devaiah BP
Thousands of investors gathered in front of I Monetary Advisory (IMA) jewels at Commercial Street on Monday. Express Photo

Thousands of investors panicked and gathered in front of I Monetary Advisory (IMA) jewels at Commercial Street on Monday after its missing founder and managing director Mohammed Mansoor Khan s audio clip went viral on the internet where he claimed that he was going to commit suicide.

IMA Jewels a company founded in 2006 by Mohammed Mansoor Khan, a Gulf-returnee. In the viral audio clip, Mohammed Khan named a Congress MLA claiming that he had taken 400 crores from Khan and which was not repaid as the Congress MLA did not get the ticket from the party for the recent parliamentary election.

In the audio clip, Khan’s message was to the Bengaluru City police commissioner was, By the time you would be listening to this message, I m certain that I won t be there in this world. I have decided to end my life. Sir, I built this company with a lot of hard work in the last 12 to 13 years. But because of the corruption in the Central government and the state government, I kept bribing the bureaucrats and Muslim politicians. The PMO and the RBI were misinformed."

It had become an earning opportunity for all these officers and politicians. My final problem arose when the local MLA refused to return Rs 400 crore to me when he did not get the ticket.

Instead of returning the money, he started sending his men to my office and residence. I and my family faced danger to our lives. I had to keep them in a village. I am in South Bengaluru but by the time you would be listening to this audio clip, I would be no more. The only intention behind recording this audio is that I have Rs 500 crore worth of properties in Bengaluru, 30,000-carat diamonds as well as gold. Please take all of this into your custody and pay my investors. But beware of the frauds and pay only genuine investors, he said in the clip.

After the clip went viral, more than 3,000 investors have filed complaints at the Commercial Street police station. Police rushed to the spot and tried to control the crowd who gathered in front of IMA jewels to protest against the company.

Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad, DCP of East Bengaluru has convinced the investors protesting and filed a case against IMA Jewels. According to the police, Khan might have a fled and the audio clip is used to mislead the police and investors. Shahapurwad said five teams had been formed to track down Khan and we are examining the authenticity of the audio clip.

According to the IMA group website, the IMA Group has businesses encompassing retail jewellery, gold finance, infrastructure development, bullion trading, housing, print media, education, book publishing, healthcare and hospital, perfume and a mall.

Reacting to the allegations by Khan, the MLA insisted says The audio clip is fake and the clip has not reached the police officials so far. If Khan s allegations were true, he could have sent it directly to the commissioner. I think my own party people are behind this to tarnish my image. I don t have any kind of relation with Khan s business.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has handed over the case to the Central Crime Branch (CCB). Considering the seriousness of the IMA Jewels fraud, the inquiry has been handed over to a special investigation team and instructions regarding this have been given to the DGP, Kumaraswamy said in a statement.
The opposition party BJP has posted a tweet of an old picture of Kumaraswamy having food with Mohammed Mansoor Khan. In the tweet by BJP Karnataka, & when I eat, you too eat is a way of life in @JanataDal_S, frauds like Mohammed Mansoor Khan tend to eat, loot & scoot. Btw @hd_kumaraswamy s biryani day with frauds speaks a lot about acceptance. Must be tough acknowledging it. Isn t it

Responding to this tweet by BJP, Kumaraswamy said in a tweet, It’s sad that @BJP4Karnataka stoops low again to misguide and demean by using an old picture out of context. This has always been the BJP troll strategy. #IMAfraud is a serious issue and the culprits will be punished.