Revenue Minister R Ashok said that the state government has attached assets worth crores of rupees belonging to scam-hit I Monetary Advisory (IMA) group accused of cheating over 50,000 investors to the tune of over Rs 4,000 crore.
Mr. Ashok said that his government had taken the IMA case seriously as many peoples’ hard earned money was involved and many poor peoples’ livelihood was at stake. The IMA case has taken many major turns.
The Revenue Department has now ordered attachment of the properties related to IMA and its group entities,” Mr Ashoka told reporters here.
The minister further said that the government was convinced that IMA made people believe in their business and collected money from them as investment and then did not pay them capital and profit share amount and thereby indulged in fraud”In order to protect the interests of the investors, I have approved the attachment of movable and immovable properties of the company by the Revenue Department,” Mr. Ashok added.
Among the properties attached by the government were 17 in Bengaluru with a market value of Rs 21.73 crore, Demand Drafts worth Rs 8.86 crore, gold and silver ornaments and materials worth Rs 91.57 lakh and 5,880 fake gold biscuits weighing 303.07 kg. An amount of Rs 2.85 crore cash was also seized.
The government had recently entrusted the CBI to probe the IMA scam, in which over one lakh people, mostly Muslims, were duped.
The IMA properties were attached under relevant sections of the ‘Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Act, 2004 (Karnataka Act 30 of 2005).
CID probe into similar scams Mr. Ashok told reporters that the government has ordered CID probe into similar investment scams in Bengaluru rural district by some companies and Deputy Commissioners of all districts have been asked to submit a report to the Revenue department on such “dubious companies” in three months.
“To stop such mafia and to protect investors, I have ordered a CID probe into the case and asked police to arrest those behind it and get the money back to investors,” he said.
Naming five companies involved in such fraudulent activities in Bengaluru Rural Limits, he said they had collected Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh from each investor.
The firms had promised returns of between Rs 10,000 to 25,000 each month on renting out cabs purchased in the name of investors.
As per preliminary information, about 2,000 people had invested about Rs 40 crore to 60 crore in the firms, he said.
Noting that the cars were not registered in the names of investors, Ashoka said….’the model of business itself looks fraudulent, aimed at duping investors and is like a blade company.
He said the police and Deputy Commissioner there have conducted an inquiry and informed them these are bogus firms.