The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday raided the Bengaluru residence of former Congress minister Roshan Baig, who was arrested by the federal agency in connection with a Rs 2,500 crore ponzi scheme on Sunday.
A team of 12 CBI officials has been searching Baig’s premises in Coles Park since morning. The seven-time MLA was arrested on Sunday after being quizzed for nearly 10 hour and has been remanded to 14 day-judicial custody. He is currently lodged in Parapanna Agrahara jail.
Karnataka-based I Monetary Advisors (IMA), an investment firm purportedly run in compliance with Islamic banking rules, collapsed in May last year after it could not repay either the deposits or dividends on the deposits it had illegally accepted. IMA co-founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan at the time of his arrest had alleged that Baig had cheated him of Rs 400 crore and forced him to gift expensive cars and jewellery. He had also named some other government officers.
The former minister had then rejected the charge and claimed that except for some donations to Haj facilitation centers, he had not accepted any money. Over 51,500 depositors are said to have lost approximately Rs 2,500 crore collected by IMA and its subsidiaries in the ponzi scheme.
The then coalition government of Congress and JD(S) had formed a special investigation team to probe the matter in September 2019. However, the BJP government which came to power later handed over the case to the CBI. The CBI has arraigned an IAS officer, two IPS officers, a KAS officer and a corporator as accused among others in the case after the state government gave permission for prosecuting them.
Baig was suspended from the Congress party in June 2019 after he criticized the leader of opposition Siddaramaiah as well as then KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao. Baig had also attempted to join the BJP. He, however, was not inducted into BS Yediyurappa’s party, unlike 16 other disqualified legislators of Congress and JDS, whose revolt led to the collapse of the HD Kumarasamy led coalition government last year.
(With agency inputs)