On Thursday, August 5, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted a raid on the properties of Congress MLA BZ Zameer over the illegal construction of his new bungalow at Chamrajpet. The raid ended today morning after 24 hours of the search operation.
Following the raid, Zameer has said that it was conducted as people were unable to witness the luxury bungalow and there is nothing illegal related to its construction. But, there is no official information available so far as why the raids were conducted. While there are rumours that the raid was concerned with the 4000-crore I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) alleged ponzi scam case, in which both former Karnataka minister and Congress leader Roshan Baig and Chickpet MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan are under investigation. ED has arrested Congress legislator Zameer Khan's nephew Muzamil, on August 5.
Baig along with his associates was raided under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA); two of his premises in Bengaluru’s Shivajinagar while Congress MLA, B Z Zameer premise at Chamrajpet and his linked travel company were being searched since August 5 early morning.
The ED had informed that the searches are being carried out in some parts of Mumbai. Security personnel were spotted at Zameer Khan’s new bungalow near Cantonment Railway station in Bengaluru where raids are being held by ED.
CBI spokesperson had stated, “It was alleged that the accused former minister received several crores of rupees from IMA funds for election expenditure. It was further alleged that the accused was also utilizing the said funds for day-to-day expenditure, including salaries of employees of his firm. It was also alleged that the accused has spent the funds for various social and cultural activities in his constituency to increase his popularity."
I-Monetary Advisors of Karnataka folded in May 2019, as the principal accused, Mohammed Mansoor Khan, managing director, and chief executive officer of the IMA Group of firms, could not refund deposits or dividends it had fraudulently accepted. At the time of his arrest, he said that Baig had defrauded him of Rs 400 crore and compelled him to give him costly automobiles and jewellery. He also mentioned a few more government officials. After that, the former minister denied the charge.
Following the rumours that he had gone underground fearing investments worth crores from over 50,000 investors in the Ponzi scheme, the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against the IMA group of firms and the principal accused in the case, Mohammed Mansoor Khan. The ED launched a money-laundering investigation after the CBI filed an FIR. Both Baig and Khan were released on bail and detectives have been working to retrieve the depositors' money.
In September 2019, the then-coalition government of Congress and JD(S) appointed a special inquiry committee to look into the situation. The matter was later handed over to the CBI by the BJP government, which came to power after the election. Following the state government's agreement, the CBI has arraigned an IAS officer, two IPS officers, and KAS officer.