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Bengaluru: Senior IAS officer accused of graft in IMA scam kills self

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Bengaluru, June 23: A senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official B M Vijay Shankar, one of the prime accused in a multi-crore financial fraud case involving I Monetary Advisory Pvt Ltd (IMA), allegedly died by suicide at his residence in Bengaluru's Jaynagar area on Tuesday night.

The officer who was under suspension had been arrested and jailed in July 2019.

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The IMA Ponzi scheme run by its founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan and his associates had duped lakhs of people by promising higher returns using Islamic way of investment.

Vijay Shankar a former District Commissioner of Bangalore was accused of accepting a bribe of at least Rs 1.5 crore from IMA's Khan by a special investigative team constituted by the state government.

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    Later, when the BJP government came to power in the state, it handed over the case to the CBI. Recently, the CBI sought state government's permission to prosecute Shankar, along with two others, in connection with the case after interrogating them,sources told PTI.

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    The agency has also sought state government's permission to prosecute two senior IPS officers in connection with the case. Promising high returns, Mohammad Mansoor Khan started the Ponzi scheme in 2013.

    How was Vijay Shankar involved?

    A CBI probe had shown that IMA group entities headed by Khan had raised illegal and unauthorised deposits in an alleged dishonest and fraudulent manner from innocent investors to the tune of over Rs 4,000 crore, raising the eyebrows of the income tax department and the RBI.

    The apex bank had written to the state government to probe the functioning of the IMA. Subsequently, the government asked Vijay Shankar to submit a report on IMA. Vijay Shankar assigned the task of preparing the report to the assistant commissioner of Bengaluru district L C Nagaraj.

    It is alleged that Vijay Shankar and Nagaraj took Rs 1.5 crore through a village accountant Manjunath to hush up the alleged wrongdoings of Khan.

    The case came to light when Khan fled to Dubai leaving behind a video message saying he was committing suicide because of "corruption in the state and central governments."

    Khan was arrested on July 19 last year on his arrival in New Delhi. Along with him, seven directors of the IMA, a corporator, and a few others were arrested by the SIT.

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