Ponzi case: 303 kg fake gold found in mastermind's flat
Bengaluru, Aug 8 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the multi-crore ponzi scam involving IMA Jewellers, recovered 303 kg fake gold pieces from a posh flat belonging to the mastermind Mohammed Mansoor Khan in the city, an official said on Thursday.
"The 5,000-odd fake gold pieces in biscuit shape were found in dozen boxes hidden in a motor room above Khan's flat on the sixth floor near a swimming pool on the roof-top," SIT inspector B.K. Shekar told IANS.
The posh flat is one of the 23 properties the SIT raided and seized on Wednesday as part of the investigation into the scam on information Khan disclosed to its sleuths during the preliminary interrogation.
"The flat in 'Alexandria' apartments on Richmond Road in the city centre is among Khan's properties with Rs 300-crore combined value that were attached by the Bengaluru Urban district office, as they were bought from investments thousands of stakeholders made in the ponzi schemes," said Shekar.
Khan used to show the fake gold pieces and other jewellery ornaments as part of his company's inventory that can be exchanged for the investments made by about 40,000 gullible investors across the city, state and the country.
"Though Khan is in 14-day judicial custody till August 14, we are seeking his custody again to quiz him on many things he claimed or disclosed in 2-3 video clippings he released on the social media from Dubai before returning to the city via New Delhi on July 20," said the inspector.
Since Khan returned from Dubai to India on July 19 and to Bengaluru on July 20 via New Delhi, he has been in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning him on the alleged transfer of funds through hawala route in violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act by the IMA firm.
The ED has also attached Khan's assets valued at Rs 209 crore, including immovable properties, gold and jewellery and huge deposits in many banks," the SIT said in release.
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.
"Interrogation of 25 people arrested in the case, including 12 directors of the IMA is going on simultaneously to unearth the scam and trace where deposits of about 40,000 investors have gone," said Shekar.