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CBI seeks Centre’s nod to prosecute 2 IPS officers, 4 others in IMA chit fund scam

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 19, 2019 Published on December 19, 2019

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought the Centre’s sanction to prosecute two serving senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers and four others in the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Chit Fund case.

Sources said that the CBI sought sanction from Government to prosecute IPS officers Hemant Nimbalkar and Ajay Hilori.

Nimbalkar was the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Crime Investigation Department (CID), Economic Offence Wing (EOW); while Hilori was the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bengaluru, when the IMA scam was initially investigated.

In addition to these two senior IPS officers, the CBI has sought sanction for EV Sridhar, the then Deputy Superintendent of Police, CID, EOW; M Ramesh, the Inspector and Station House Officer (SHO) Commercial City Police Station, Bengaluru; and P Gaurishankar Inspector at the Commercial City Police Station, Bengaluru.

The CBI has also sought sanction for prosecution of LC Nagraj, the then Assistant Commissioner of Bengaluru North Sub-division.

Sources said that Nagraj gave a clean chit to IMA without conducting a proper inquiry on the grounds that no unauthorised deposits were being collected.

Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the Managing director of IMA, is accused of illegally collecting over ₹4,000 crore worth of deposits from more than 1 lakh investors. Sources said that deposits worth around ₹3,000 crore are outstanding in the form of principal amount and interest with respect to 76,000 investors.

Sources said that all these public servants are alleged to have dishonestly favoured IMA group and allowed them to continue their activities.

The initial clean chits by investigative agencies allowed their activities to continue unhindered and facilitate further collection from investors.

Multi-level investigation

The Reserve Bank of India is also said to have repeatedly written letters to these authorities through State Chief secretary and Director General of Police requesting urgent and suitable action against IMA group companies.

This case is being investigated by a multi-disciplinary investigation team of the CBI that also has Chartered Accountants, Forensic Auditors, bankers and other nodal officers.

Till now, two charge sheets have been filed against 22 accused which include directors and promoters of IMA group their Chartered Accountant, middlemen and IMA group entities.

The CBI is investigating a larger conspiracy, the trail of funds leading to beneficiaries, and the diversion of funds, sources added.

The case came to light when Khan fled to Dubai, leaving behind a video message, saying that he was committing suicide because of “corruption in the state and central governments.” Khan was arrested on July 21 on his arrival in New Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate and is currently in judicial custody.

He had allegedly promised returns ranging from 2.5 to 3 per cent per month to the investors, who are mainly from the Muslim community.

The Karnataka government has constituted a special investigation team of the police to probe the case before handing it over to the CBI.

Published on December 19, 2019
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