In a major breakthrough, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday arrested Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the owner of IMA Jewels, in connection with the multi-crore cheating case. Khan, who was absconding for a month, was arrested soon after he arrived in the national capital from the UAE.
"He has shared a video yesterday in which he claimed that he shall return to India in the next 24 hours. This when he arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. On the basis of the Look Out Circular, we arrested him," an ED official said.
The development is expected to ease the ongoing investigation and the effort to return the money of thousands of investors.
Khan is accused of perpetrating financial fraud worth crores in Bengaluru.
The alleged ponzi scam perpetrated by Khan’s group is said to have duped thousands of investors.
Earlier, ED officials had asked Khan to depose before the investigating officer in the case at the central agency's zonal office on June 24.
The agency wants to question and record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), under which a probe is underway in the alleged ponzi and investment fraud scam, the officials said.
The central agency has recently filed a case of money laundering in this case which is said to have left thousands of gullible investors in the lurch.
It has taken cognisance of a complaint registered by the Karnataka Police and the subsequent creation of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the alleged fraud.
The agency is now gathering documents in the case and is looking for possible assets of the accused for attachment under the PMLA and also obtain an Interpol arrest warrant against Khan.
The team also raided the IMA Jewels showroom at Jayanagar here and seized 43 kg gold, worth Rs 13 crore, 5,864 carat of diamond, worth Rs 17.6 crore, 520 kg silver, worth Rs 1.5 crore, and precious gems worth Rs 1.5 crore.
It also raided the office of the company and the premises of the third divorced wife of Khan, Tabassum Bano, and found 1.5 kg of gold, 1.5 kg silver and Rs 2.69 lakh cash. It said the SIT has identified 26 immovable properties, including commercial buildings, land, school property and apartments, which are said to be of Khan.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has asserted that his government would bring to book the perpetrators of the ponzi scheme fraud, irrespective of how influential they were.
It is feared that the size of the scam is around Rs 5,000 crore, with more than 30,000 people cheated by the ponzi scheme floating company.
With PTI Inputs