The Central Bureau of Investigation took over the inquiry into the multi-crore fraudulent scheme run by Karnataka-based I Monetary Advisory or IMA group and its entities, PTI reported on Monday. The company had allegedly duped more than 30,000 people of Rs 5,000 crore.

The investigating agency filed a first information report on Friday against the owner of the company Mansoor Khan and 24 others, unidentified officials said. Four sister concerns of IMA were also booked in the case. Khan is currently in judicial custody.

The accused were reportedly booked under sections 120 [criminal conspiracy], 406 [criminal breach of trust], 409 [criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent] and 420 [cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property] under the Indian Penal Code, according to ANI.

Several touts and some religious preachers were also among those who conned people into investing in the company, the officials added. People from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Tamil Nadu are said to have invested in the company.

The CBI took over the case after the Karnataka government requested it to do so last month. A Special Investigation Team, formed by the state government, was investigating the IMA Jewels case.

The owner of the company, who had fled to Dubai, was arrested in July this year and was interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate, which is also investigating the case. The IMA had allegedly been collecting investments for several years and assuring investors of returns of over 3% per month.

However, the fraud came to light after hundreds of people gathered outside the investment firm’s offices, saying it had not provided returns on their investments for more than two months. On July 8, the special investigation team had arrested Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru urban district BM Vijay Shankar for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore from Khan.

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