The Enforcement Directorate on Friday attached assets worth Rs 209 crore in its money laundering probe into a ponzi scam involving Karnataka's IMA group, in which thousands of depositors have allegedly been duped.
The central agency said its Bengaluru zonal office has issued a provisional order, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, for attachment of immovable assets worth Rs 197 crore and about Rs 12 crore deposits kept in bank accounts.
The total amount of the attachment is about Rs 209 crore, it said.
The agency recently filed a criminal case of money laundering against the IMA group of companies and its absconding main promoter and Managing Director Mohammed Mansoor Khan after reports emerged that he has gone underground fearing investments worth crores of about 40,000 investors have tanked.
According to a statement issued by the Enforcement Directorate, the "accused companies and its directors have indulged in the offence of money laundering by cheating common people through ponzi schemes and generated the proceeds of crime in the form of movable and immovable properties."
Khan, it said, had promised returns ranging from 2.5 to 3 per cent month to the investors, who are mainly from the Muslim community. The scam had come to light after a video of his purported statement claiming that the investments have been lost surfaced.
The ED had summoned Khan multiple times but he did not depose before the agency and it is suspected that he has left the country. The agency is working towards getting an Interpol arrest warrant issued against him and get him declared a fugitive economic offender by a court.
The Karnataka government has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) of the police to probe the case.