As of June 10, when the company suddenly shut down and Khan went incommunicado, the IMA Group had businesses encompassing bullion trading, retail jewellery, gold finance, infrastructure development, housing, book publishing, print media, education, healthcare, perfume and what not.
One of the reasons behind the meteoric rise of the IMA Group was its founder’s proximity to politicians and Muslim religious figures.
While Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig is now embroiled in the case after the company’s founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan blamed him in an audio clip, other politicians, too, had associated themselves with the IMA Group. In June 2017, then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the Government VK Obaidullah School, which the IMA Group had adopted.
B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan visited the IMA Group head office soon after becoming a minister last year. Since the IMA Group claimed to deal in Halal businesses, it was quick to seek the blessings of Bengaluru’s top Ulema. Mufti Mohammed Shoaibullah Khan Miftahi, who runs Maseeh-ul-Uloom seminary in Bengaluru, published a booklet in Urdu a few years ago, virtually supporting the IMA Group. Mohammed Maqsood Imran Rashadi and Haneef Afsar Azizi Rasheed, two of the well-known Ulema in the city, backed the IMA Group after the company failed to pay the monthly profits last month. Both of them reassured investors, asking them to remain patient.
IMA Group is the latest and the largest of Halal investment companies to go bust in recent months. In September 2018, Morgenall, a similar company, went bust, leaving investors in the lurch. In January that year, Capital Plus and Capital Infrastructure shut down after duping investors of Rs 300 crore. Previously, Injaz International, Ajmera, Aleef, Aala Ventures, Ambidant, Burraqh and other companies wound up.
TV channel in extortion case
In 2017, police arrested Lakshmi Prasad Vajpayee, the CEO of Kannada news channel Janasri, for extorting Rs 10 crore in cash and a kilogram of gold jewellery from IMA Group CEO Mohammed Mansoor Khan for not running a “fictitious story” about the company.
Properties worth Rs 1,050 cr
In a Facebook post on June 8, Mohammed Mansoor Khan stated that the IMA Group had properties worth Rs 1,050 crore in Bengaluru. “It has physical assets but people don’t have patience, people are greedy, people are anxious, people filled with anxiety…” he wrote.
The IMA Group attractive offers on its products and services. While IMA Jewels regularly offered a 50% discount on gold making charges, the fee was altogether waived during sales. Frontline Pharma, the company’s pharmacy business with over 20 stores, offered a flat 20% discount on all medicines.
Hospital remains open
Among all businesses run by the IMA Group, only Frontline Multispeciality Hospital, Shivajinagar, remained open on Monday.
Because we’re journalists, we’re impatient. We want to gather the news as quickly as possible, using any technological resource available. And when we’re as sure of the story as we can be, we want to share it immediately, in whatever way reaches the most people. The Internet didn’t plant these ideas in our heads. We’ve always been this way.