Bengaluru ponzi scam: IAS officer spiked Karnataka minister’s Rs 600 crore IMA bailout plan

BENGALURU: Amid swirling allegations that Mohammed Mansoor Khan could not have fled to Dubai without the aid of authorities, it has emerged that a senior Karnataka minister aggressively lobbied for a Rs 600-crore bailout of the IMA founder-owner, only to be shot down by an IAS officer in the government. Sources said Khan had visited the minister’s office in Vidhana Soudha along with a Muslim politician during the month of Ramzan in this regard.

The revelations came on Friday as the scam grew to Rs 1,700 crore on the back of complaints that continue to pour in from investors who put their hard-earned savings into Khan’s hands – some on promise of halal investment and some lured by the promise of impossible profits.

But Khan’s troubles peaked months ago. Sources in the government told TOI he had earlier this year approached a bank for a huge loan. As the loan application followed the revenue department’s public notice on the fraudulent practices of Khan’s company, the bank realised that the firm was under the RBI scanner and insisted on a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the state government.

Khan, using high-level contacts, almost succeeded in getting the certificate. But an IAS officer refused to sign the papers. The minister, it is learned, exerted pressure on the official of the rank of principal secretary to issue the NOC though he knew the background of the IMA Group and Khan’s financial status. A source said, “Efforts were made from all quarters to make the company appear legitimate and they wanted the government to endorse the company. But the senior IAS officer did not relent.”

“The officer took this stand, given his experience with a similar case in the past. The minister gave up when the official refused to budge,” said another source. “Khan’s financial distress became acute after the bank loan bid fell through.”

Source: Times of India


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