Sat, 25 Sep 2021

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], August 5 (ANI) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday conducted searches at the residence of former Karnataka minister and Congress leader Roshan Baig in connection with the I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) investment scam unearthed in 2019.

A separate ED team also conducted raids at the residence of Chickpet MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan's residence in connection with the case.

Over half a dozen ED officers have been searching Baig's premises in Coles Park in Pulikeshinagar since morning. The seven-time Congress MLA from Shivaji Nagar constituency in the heart of Bengaluru, Baig was arrested on November 22 last year by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after being quizzed for nearly 10 hours.

The CBI also raided Baig's Bengaluru residence a day after his arrest.

The Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against the IMA group of companies and prime accused in the case, Mohammed Mansoor Khan after reports emerged that he has gone underground fearing investments worth crores of about 50,000 investors in the ponzi scam.

The ED began a money-laundering probe based on First Information Report (FIR) registered by the CBI.

Karnataka-based I-Monetary Advisors (IMA), an investment firm purportedly run in compliance with Islamic banking rules, collapsed in May 2019 after it could not repay either the deposits or dividends on the deposits it had illegally accepted.

The prime accused Mohammed Mansoor Khan, managing director and chief executive officer of the IMA Group of companies, at the time of his arrest, had alleged that Baig had cheated him of Rs 400 crore and forced him to gift expensive cars and jewellery. He had also named some other government officers.

The former minister had then rejected the charge and claimed that except for some donations to Haj facilitation centres, he had not accepted any money.

Both Baig and Khan are out on bail, while investigators are trying to recover money lost by the depositors.

The then coalition government of Congress and JD(S) had formed a special investigation team to probe the matter in September 2019. However, the BJP government which came to power later handed over the case to the CBI. The CBI has arraigned an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, two Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, a Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) officer and a corporator as accused among others in the case after the state government gave permission for prosecuting them.

Baig was suspended from the Congress party in June 2019 after he criticized the leader of opposition Siddaramaiah as well as then KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao. Baig had also attempted to join the BJP. He, however, was not inducted into BS Yediyurappa's party, unlike 16 other disqualified legislators of Congress and JDS, whose revolt led to the collapse of the HD Kumarasamy led coalition government in 2019.

Karnataka High Court recently ordered the seizure of Baig's immovable assets.

Karnataka government informed the High court last month that it has attached properties belonging to Baig. (ANI)

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