Karnataka Halal Scam: Thousands file complaints against IMA Jewellery founder

Karnataka is looking at yet another investment scam as thousands of victims raised police complaints against IMA (I Monetary Advisory) Jewellery since June 10.

Going by reports, thousands invested amounts running into crores in the company since it started in 2006. The case is under police investigation.

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in a tweet said, “Considering the seriousness of the IMA Jewels fraud, the inquiry has been handed over to a special investigation team and instructions regarding this have been given to the DGP.”

What happened?

On June 10 in an audio clip that went viral IMA Founder Mohammed Mazoor Khan blamed the defected Congress MLA Roshan Baig, the Central and state governments for corruption.

Khan alleged that Baig refused to return Rs 400 crore taken from IMA. He was also heard threatening suicide due to constant bribes demanded by corrupt officials and politicians.

Baig denied the claims and in a statement said his association with the IMA group was as a legislator for the constituency. He said the audio content was false and added that necessary steps including legal action would be taken against people spreading false information.

Karnataka and halal scams

Karnataka has a long history with halal scams.

Halal investments are financial products compliant with the Islamic law of Shariah, under which interests obtained from investment options such as fixed deposits are prohibited.

To abide Shariah, a section of the Muslim community invest in companies such as IMA that offer halal investments at a high rate of return. However, Karnataka recently saw thousands affected by halal scams, in cases that at times involved politicians.

Prior to IMA, owners of Morgenall Cooperative, another halal investment company, fled after cheating investors in 2018. While police filed complaints, there is no progress and the owners are still absconding.

Similar stories played out with firms such as Aala Ventures, Injaz International, Heera Gold and Burraq in the last couple of years.