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IMA SCAM: Police tight lipped on Mansoor Khan’s plea for assistance to return

Top cop says he’ll be dealt with as per law if he comes back; SIT continues searches.

, ET Bureau|
Jun 25, 2019, 10.56 AM IST
The special investigation team (SIT) conducts search at IMA Bullion Trading Services’ office on Lady Curzon Road on Monday.
BENGALURU: The Bengaluru city police are anticipating the return of I Monetary Advisory (IMA) Jewels founder-owner Mohammed Mansoor Khan. He will be dealt with as per law, police commissioner Alok Kumar said. Kumar was responding to questions regarding the video released by Khan on Sunday in which he expressed his wish to return to India and surrender to the police.

“At this point, I can only say that we will follow the provisions of the law. When I say provisions of the law, it implies both giving protection to his life as well as taking action for the crime he has committed,” the top cop told ET. He remained tightlipped on Khan’s plea for assistance to return to the country and whether the police will play a role in bringing him back.

Khan is the main accused in the IMA deposit scheme scam that has left over 40,000 investors in trouble. Though the state has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the scam, Khan’s 18-minute long YouTube video released from an undisclosed location on Sunday was addressed to the police commissioner himself. Two weeks ago, Khan had released an audio addressing Kumar, explaining the trouble in his business and threatening that he will commit suicide.

Interestingly, Kumar, who was additional commissioner of police (crime), had interrogated Khan for five hours on June 1, a week before the IMA owner fled the country. The interrogation was apparently regarding a case of blackmail against a regional television channel, in which Khan himself was the complainant. “During the inquiry, we found his business to be suspicious. I told him to appear before us a week later with all the necessary documents, but he fled,” Kumar said. The state government elevated Kumar as the city police commissioner just days after the scam broke out.

Officers involved in the investigation see Khan’s latest YouTube appearance as an attempt to portray himself as a “victim” and draw sympathy from investors and people. “He (Khan) is playing the victim card. It is clear he has released the video for his own benefit and not to help anyone,” a senior IPS officer monitoring the case told ET.

In the video, Khan has accused influential leaders like former deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha K Rahman Khan and JD(S) MLC TA Sharavana of “destroying” his business.

Meanwhile, the SIT team conducted a search at IMA Bullion Trading Services’ office on Lady Curzon Road on Monday. Sleuths broke open lockers and recovered jewellery, although the quantity of seized property was not immediately revealed. The police are yet to ascertain if the seized ornaments are pledged by customers or IMA-made. In the video, Khan had claimed that 120 kg of gold and 600 kg of bullion were in his safe-locker when he left India.

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