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It was a quiet afternoon of Thursday, June 11.  Karnataka was bracing for administrative and political uncertainties with the rumours that a few MLAs of the ruling coalition government JDS and Congress are planning to move to a resort. But unexpectedly, the senior journalists of various media houses received a Whats app video message from an unknown number. It was the beginning of the IMA scam.

It was the shock of their life for thousands of families across the Karnataka and South India. A majority of the victims belong to minority Muslim community.   Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the blue eye boy of the community since 2006 till then had fled from the country leaving his favourite Jaguar car at the Bengaluru airport parking lot. Out of his four wives, only first wife was accompanying him. This is the beginning of the multi thousand crore, I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam which hit over 38,000 families to the tune of over Rs.3,800 crores. As the pressure started to mount, the state government formed a Special Investigation (SIT) and washed off its hand with Khan blaming the several prominent leaders and bureaucrats for the present fiasco. One of his serious allegations was that a former minister and senior Congress leader who was recently suspended from the party not returned him the advance he availed to the tune of Rs.400 crores!.

The list of arrested in this scam till now include Bengaluru Urban DC Vijay Shankar, a senior IAS officer beside all the Directors and Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Mansoon Khan. Those who are investigated include former ministers Roshan Baig and BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan. The entire episode has several interesting twists and turns.

Halal investment: If the people who knew the IMA MD Khan before the year 2000, they still recall how a small time technician in a garage become a crorepati in next six years. Thanks to his Halal Investment concept.

“He used the Moulvis to lure poor Muslim towards his company,” recalls a Shivajinagar resident who wished to be unnamed. “He started his company by offering upto 50% return in a year in the name of investment in the stock market. He started the daily deposit scheme of just Rs.50. Since then there was no looking back. He became a crorepati in next few years. He became a popular face in the social circles of the Muslim community making his companies more popular,” he recalled his initial days.

According to the officials who are following the scam, his company made significant investments in the Bullion Trading, Education, Healthcare Services and a Multispecialty Hospital, Hypermarkets & Supermarkets, Infrastructure & Real Estate Development, Printing & Publishing and Retail Sales of Gold, Silver, Diamond & Platinum Jewellery. His company was under the scanner of various regulatory agencies including the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). But a few officers misled. Politicians bailed him out in the time of crisis. But he was forced to reveal the truth due to the liquidity crisis,” explained an officer.

“Tens of nomadic community families from Odisha also invested in his company. That reveals his popularity,” he said.

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