2 Karnataka IPS officers booked in IMA ponzi scam

Source: IANS | Published on 5th February 2020, 11:50 AM | State News |

Bengaluru: Two senior IPS-rank officers of the Karnataka cadre have been booked for their alleged role in the multi-crore IMA ponzi scam that rocked the state last year, a CBI official said on Tuesday.

"We have booked an FIR against 11 accused, including Karnataka cadre IPS officers Ajay Hillori (accused number 2) and Hemant Nimbalkar (accused number 5) under various sections of IPC for their alleged involvement in the IMA ponzi scam," CBI official R.K. Gaur told IANS from New Delhi over phone.

Hillori (2008 IPS batch) was Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in Bengaluru-East while Nimbalkar (1998 IPS batch) was the Inspector General of Police in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Bengaluru.

"Besides the two IPS officers, former Commercial Street police station Inspector M. Ramesh (accused number 1), same police station''s Sub-inspector Gowri Shankar (accused number 3), CID Deputy Superintendent of Police E.S. Sridhar (accused number 4) and the scam''s kingpin Mohammad Mansoor Khan (accused number 6) have been charged with various offences, including criminal conspiracy to dupe thousands of gullible investors," Gaur said.

The other five accused include the directors of I-Monetary Advisory (IMA), whose Chairman Mansoor Khan masterminded the estimated Rs 4,000 crore scam that came to light in June 2019.

The IMA head office at Shivajinagar in the City Centre comes under the jurisdiction of the police station where Ramesh and Shankar were posted then (2016-2019).

As the ponzi scam in the guise of Islamic banking involved investors in other states with international ramifications, the BJP government had handed over the case to the CBI in August, a month after it surfaced on July 26, 2019.

"The state government on January 7 permitted our probe team to quiz the accused IPS-rank duo on the basis of the information we received during the probe into the case," the official said.

The amended Prevention of Corruption Act mandates the state government''s sanction for a criminal inquiry of a government servant.

"Though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) alerted the state government and the city police about the illegal activities of the IMA group, including raising illegal deposits from investors through cash or gold jewellery by assuring them hefty interest and returns on maturity, no action was taken against the company for allegedly indulging in the criminal act," recalled Gaur, citing the FIR.

The premier investigation agency has accused Nimbalkar of allowing IMA to carry out its illegal business by giving it a clean chit during his tenure as IGP in CID.

"Similarly, Hillori is accused of ignoring the central bank''s warnings and furthering the interests of Khan at the expense of innocent investors and depositors," added Gaur.

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