Bengaluru-based company in Islamic banking scam

Roshan Baig, a seven-time legislator and a former Minister from Congress party was funded Rs 400 crore for his political campaign
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Roshan Baig, a seven-time legislator and a former Minister from Congress party was funded Rs 400 crore for his political campaign

Highlights

53,000 depositors to be refunded in a phased manner

Bengaluru: Sweet news awaits around 53,100 investors of I Monetary Advisory (IMA) an Indian investment company, (established in 2008 and closed down in 2019) with headquarters in Bangalore. Its collapse was one in a long line of similar collapses over the preceding few years, of companies purporting to be Islamic banking companies, with investors in India and the United Arab Emirates, that investigating authorities afterwards stated to have been ponzi schemes, like the Hyderabad- based Heera Group, as Wikipedia notes.

The Special Officer of the Competent Authority of IMA, Amlan Aditya Biswas is initiating an auction process of assets worth hundreds of crores belonging to the confiscated IMA. Around 59,000 depositors who had invested money in IMA had applied to it for compensation. Out of this, 5,900 depositors who invested Rs 50,000 and less have already been refunded the entire amount. The entire gold jewellery has been returned to customers who had pledged gold.

However, 53,100 depositors who have invested between Rs one lakh and Rs 60 lakh will be refunded in a phased manner after the auction process of the confiscated IMA properties is over. Biswas said that the investment money will be returned to the depositors soon.

The Competent Authority is busy in confiscating the properties belonging to IMA founder Mansoor Khan and the organisation and auctioning them to return them to the defrauded people.

Right now, work is going on to identify properties of Roshan Baig, a former seven-time member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Minister for Urban Development, Minister for Infrastructure, and Minister for Haj. Baig had allegedly failed to return Rs 400 crore in money to IMA that was intended to fund Baig's political campaign. The accusations were vehemently denied by Roshan in a post to Twitter, where he asserted that his only relationship to IMA Group companies was "as a legislator" and in relation to the work that IMA had done with a school in his constituency.

However, a week later Baig was suspended from the Congress Party for what an official party statement described as "anti-party activities"; with newspaper reports speculating that members of his party had considered the claimed link to IMA being the final straw that tipped the balance against a party member who had been highly critical of the party and its leadership, and who had already threatened to leave it.

Other than this, the Authority has acquired land, plot worth Rs 100 crore and four buildings worth more than Rs 110 crore. Action has been taken to confiscate various flats worth Rs 15 crore. A total of Rs one crore will be paid to those who rented the flat from Mansoor and the flat will be released. Gold jewellery worth Rs 72 crore, luxury vehicles worth more than Rs 5 crore, lakhs worth valuable TVs and other items were recently seized. These will be auctioned in a few days. An official of the authority said that the competent authority will confiscate the property worth more than Rs 400 crore.

In this regard, although a Land Rover luxury car worth Rs 2 crore was offered to be auctioned for Rs 1 crore, no one came forward to buy it for this amount. Four luxury cars including Jaguar and Fortuner were sold in the auction. The auction process for six cars and small vehicles including an ambulance is pending. The authority has got permission from the court to hold the auction.

As soon as the property worth hundreds of crores of rupees belonging to IMA is auctioned, the competent authority will return the balance to the depositors, said Amalan Aditya Biswas.

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