BENGALURU: Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the main accused in the multi-crore IMA Ponzi scam, in a joint operation was arrested by the Special Investigation Team and the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi on Friday.
He was then taken into custody by the ED for further interrogation and is being brought to Bengaluru today.
According to sources, an alert has been sounded at all the three airports in Bengaluru - the Kempegowda International Airport, Jakkur and HAL regarding Mansoor’s arrival.
“He will be brought at any of these airports today by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and ED officials. it is not clear where he will be taken for Interrogation,” sources told The New Indian Express.
Announcing his arrest on Friday early morning, SIT chief BR Ravikantegowda said: “A team of SIT(IMA) officers located Mohammed Mansoor Khan the founder of IMA and Accused no 1 in Commercial Street PS Crime no 73/2019 in Dubai through its sources and persuaded him to come back to India and submit himself before law,”
He explained that he had travelled from Dubai to New Delhi (Flight AI 916) and landed at 01550 hrs IST.
Though the SIT officers were in Delhi to secure and arrest the accused as the LOC was issued against him by both SIT and ER he was handed over to ED for further interrogations.
Mansoor is accused of siphoning off crores of rupees of his investors.
Mansoor early this week had released a video in which he had stated that he would be returning to India in 24 hours.
He said that his decision to leave India was a “big mistake” and had even sought police protection.
Meanwhile, hundreds of investors have already started calling the local police at Commercial Street police station seeking to know where Mansoor will be brought and they want to see him.
Some of them reportedly had even gone to the police station to know if they would be able to meet him, a source said.
The manner in which Mansoor has arrived is also not clear because he is not said to have been deported from the UAE, where he was holed up since the time he fled Bengaluru on June 8.
“There was a blue corner notice issued against Mansoor by the Interpol on the request of the SIT. He has come on the assurance of the police that he will be given security once he lands in Bengaluru. This also could mean that his passport was not impounded as stated by the SIT,” the source added.
Thousands of gullible investors have lost their investment in the IMA Ponzi scheme. The SIT has estimated the loss at around Rs 200 crore.
The ED has booked a case against Mansoor, other directors and some investors under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Mansoor has alleged that he had given Congress MLA Roshan Baig Rs 400 crore. Baig has denied the allegations.
He fled India in June leaving investors in a panic. All he left behind was an audio clip threatening to commit suicide.
In the audio clip, he also talked about officials accepting bribes worth Rs. 400 crore and the involvement of Karnataka Congress legislator Roshan Baig, who has since been questioned by investigators.
On June 23, Mansoor Khan had released a video telling the Bengaluru police commissioner that he wished to return to India and expose all those involved in the downfall of his business.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is currently questioning Mansoor Khan, had filed a case of money laundering against IMA and had summoned the businessman on June 24.
It had also requested the Interpol to issue a Blue Corner Notice, used to locate suspects.
So far 40,000 complaints have been filed against the firm.
Also, nearly 16 arrests including government officials, IMA directors and religious leaders have been made by the SIT in this fraud case.