- Mansoor Khan "persuaded" to return from Dubai, arrested at airport
- Is accused of cheating thousands of small investors
- Had left India in June, has accused prominent people of taking bribes
Mohammed Mansoor Khan, the main accused in the multi-crore IMA Ponzi scam, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate after he landed in New Delhi from Dubai at about 1:50 am today. Central agencies had issued a lookout notice against Mr Khan and "persuaded" him to return to India and join the investigation, sources said.
Mansoor Khan had released a video message on Monday, saying he would return to India within 24 hours. Calling his decision to leave the country "a big mistake", he sought protection of the police.
"I have full faith in Indian judiciary. First of all, leaving India was a big mistake, but circumstances were such that I had to leave. I don't even know where my family is," he had said.
Mansoor Khan, the owner of I Monetary Advisory (IMA), is accused of cheating thousands of investors who were offered investment options in keeping with Islamic laws and promised big returns. He fled India in June leaving investors in 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. In the video, which surfaced two weeks after the IMA scam broke, he also claimed that "the real culprits" behind the swindle included "big names at the state and central levels". In response, the Bengaluru police said they would guarantee his safety if he returned to the city.
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.
More than 30,000 complaints were filed against the firm and many held protests at the Bengaluru Freedom Park. Mansoor Khan has maintained that his financial venture was no Ponzi scheme, and that he would do everything in his power to ensure that the investors are compensated. A Bengaluru corporator and a prominent Muslim cleric Moulana Haneef are among people who have been arrested in this case so far.
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