The higher you rise..the harder you fall. That is the sum up of the business trajectory of I Monetary Advisory, a company which was founded in 2006 by Mohammed Mansoor Khan. The managing director of IMA jewels was alleged of cheating thousands of investors of an estimated amount of around 5000 crores.
Thousands of irate investors were seen gathering outside the office of IMA jewels in Shivajinagar after its founder and managing director Mansoor Khan went absconding. As a result, heavy police was deployed outside the IMA building. It is said that more than 1 lakh people have reportedly invested in IMA jewels.
So, who is Mansoor Khan? Until 2015, very few people have heard of him. Mansoor Khan is a Gulf-returned Bengalurean who decided to start his so-called Islamic investment market to the hilt and quickly built a diversified business empire. After identifying demand for Islamic investment in the state, he began to offer several investment offerings. For instance, ”Shariah” which does not allow investment in companies which deal with banking and insurance, manufacturing, selling or offering of liquor or pork, or involved in sort of gambling, amusement parks, entertainment, etc. Targeting those Muslim population, who as per religious diktat..they refuse to invest in such interest-based businesses. That is where IMA Group comes to light and builds a diversified portfolio encompassing bullion trading, educational academies offering pre-primary to higher secondary education, credit co-operative and housing society, health care services like multi-specialty hospitals, retail sales of gold, silver, diamond & platinum jewelry and what not. These are the sectors where Muslim investors believe to put their money. It has its roots in the practice of ‘halal’ investment, which targets investors from the Muslim community who believe that putting money in banks and earning interest is haraam.
The company’s tagline was catchy: Your partner to (the) path of prosperity. Mansoor Khan targeted Muslims who shy away from investing in interest-based businesses. And IMA offered a bouquet of attractive investment like schemes with monthly, quarterly and yearly returns. The amount to be invested was Rs 50,000 and its multiples. Withdrawing from the scheme was hassle-free: get your money back after 45 days. That’s all. At its peak, the company doled out a 7% monthly profit. So if a person is investing Rs 1 lakh, he makes a neat Rs 7,000 a month. And in a little over a year, he’ she could easily recover the entire investment. But this profit percentage didn’t last long. It first went down to 5% before averaging 3% until February 2019. Investors started to panic when the company paid them just 1% in April 2019. And things came to a head in May when many investors didn’t receive a single profit. And soon a large number of men, women with their children started gathering at the IMA Jewels headquarters at Shivajinagar, demanding action against the managing director. And most of those who invested in the company belongs to the minority community, working as autorickshaw drivers, beedi manufacturers, carpenters or street vendors.
The protest and outpour grew so big that the authorities finally had to step in. An audio clip, that said to be of Mohammed Mansoor Khan claims to end his life owing to financial distress, which also went viral spreading further panic among the IMA’s investors. In the audio clip, Khan is heard alleging that senior Congress MLA and former state minister Roshan Baig had taken Rs 400 crore from him, and refused to repay him after he failed to get a ticket from the party. Baig, however, rubbished the allegations and claimed that the audio was fake. He suggested that it could be the handiwork of his own party people who want to tarnish his reputation. Mohammed Mansoor Khan was also heard making yet another allegation.. that he was being harassed by several politicians and government officers who had taken money from him.
However, according to the recent development on this issue, police had said that Mansoor Khan had fled the country to the Dubai on 8th of June at around 8.45 pm, boarding an Emirates flight from Bangalore. Investigations into the whereabouts of Mansoor confirmed that he had left the country. Police have seized the passports of all the seven directors to prevent them from fleeing the country. Meanwhile, two cars — a Jaguar and a Range Rover — belonging to Mansood were reportedly seized at KIA on Wednesday. Complaints against IMA Jewels have not stopped yet, and have now reached about 27,000+ across the state. Help desks have been set up in several cities, including Mysuru, Hubballi, Belagavi, and Mangaluru.