A special court in Bengaluru on Thursday remanded in 14-day judicial custody prime accused IMA Jewellers’ founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan for investigation into the multi-crore ponzi scheme scam in which he allegedly duped about 30,000 investors of their hard-earned money, savings and gold ornaments, a police official said.
“Session court judge Shivashankar B. Amarannavar sent Khan to 14-day judicial remand for further interrogation by our team and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the ponzi scam and money laundering,” a Special Investigation Team official told IANS.
Khan, who was arrested in New Delhi on July 19 on return to India, was flown to Bengaluru on July 20, has been in the ED custody for the last 11 days for interrogation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (FEMA) for allegedly transferring funds to overseas banks, especially in the Gulf region, through illegal means (hawala route).
The ponzi scam came to light on June 10 when the IMA showroom in the city centre did not open for business after a week-long closure for Eid at the end of Ramzan amid reports that Khan fled to Dubai to escape the wrath of investors for causing huge loss to them.
Former state chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on June 11 set up the SIT to probe the scam and get Khan back to the city for returning the savings, investments and gold ornaments thousands investors pledged with IMA to earn hefty interest since 2008.
When Khan’s counsel asked the court to get his client (Khan) admitted in the state-run Jayadeva hospital as he recently had cardiac emergency, the judge directed to the central prison officials to provide the accused with medical treatment in the jail itself and admit him to Jayadeva if his health condition demands.
“As Khan was interrogated by the ED officials on FEMA violations, the SIT has been waiting for access to him to unearth the ponzi scam and recover the investments in crores for returning them to the investors to the extent possible,” said the SIT official.