Days after news of the disappearance of Mansoor Khan, the owner of a firm in Bengaluru in which thousands had invested, people are still approaching the police in the city with complaints over the money they fear they have lost forever. Many believe that Khan is in Dubai and feel badly down with an investment they believed was in keeping with the beliefs of Islam. Directors of the firm have been arrested but they also reportedly say they had no idea about Khan's plans.
There are so many people filing complaints about their possibly lost investments in IMA Jewels - that the police station could not hold them. And so the police are now receiving their complaints in a separate location in Bengaluru, where investors from Karnataka and other states are filing their paperwork and details of the amount they invested in a company whose owner, Mansoor Khan, would appear to have fled the country.
One investor, an auto driver who works in Bengaluru was in tears as he spoke to NDTV. "I invested one lakh, my daughter invested one lakh... I earn 25 rupees here, 25 rupees there. I want to know who will take the responsibility of getting my money back to me... I appeal to Prime Minister Modi to help... they have the power," he said.
Another man who had worked in the Gulf said he had invested 22 lakhs. He had little hope of recovering the money. "This is what my 22 lakhs is now - this is what it has come to," he said.
The investments in this firm were considered halal - acceptable for Muslim investors - as the company promised to share profits and losses and did not have a fixed interest amount. Investors said that maulvis had described it as halal - not promoting the firm but saying that investment in it was acceptable under Muslim tradition.
Bengaluru has seen such scams before, and some have been burnt twice.
Ashiya Tasleem and her husband Tasleem Ahmed are both in their sixties. They had invested 2 lakh rupees in IMA Jewels. And earlier they had invested the same amount in Ambident, another company that turned out to be fraudulent.
The state government has formed a Special Investigative Team to locate Khan and see what can be done to get the money back. The BJP wants it given to the CBI. B S Yeddurappa, BJP state president, told NDTV, "The case should be handed over to the CBI as many big people are involved."
Congress MLA, Roshan Baig, was mentioned in an audio recording said to be in the voice of Mansoor Khan saying he was committing suicide. Mr Baig has denied his involvement in the case.
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