Senior IAS officer BM Vijayshankar, who allegedly committed suicide at his residence in Bengaluru, was said to be involved with a multi-crore IMA Ponzi scam. According to officials, 59-year-old Vijayshakar was found hanging at his Bengaluru home on Tuesday. Detailing the incident, the official said, "Vijayshakar was found hanging in a room on the first floor of his residence at Jayanagar in the city's southern suburb by his wife late evening." Vijayshankar's death was reported after his wife had gone upstairs looking for him.
The police were informed about IAS officer BM Vijayshankar's suicide following which his body was taken for postmortem.
IAS officer BM Vijayshankar suicide: The IMA Ponzi scam
Following BM Vijayshankar's suicide, details regarding his involvement with the multi-crore IMA Ponzi scam have emerged. Vijayshankar was arrested and jailed after he was allegedly found involved in the multi-crore IMA scam in the city during 2018-19.
The Karnataka cadre officer was suspended from service while he was Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district after he had confessed to taking Rs 1.5 crore bribe from the IMA scam kingpin Mohammed Mansoor Khan though he alleged to have sought Rs 5 crore from the latter.
The state government revoked Vijayshankar's suspension recently and posted him as Commissioner of the Sakala scheme to provide citizen-related services in a stipulated time.
"The officer was under pressure after he learnt that the state government has permitted the CBI, probing the scam, to interrogate and prosecute him," added the official.
IAS officer BM Vijayshankar suicide: The Prevention of Corruption Act
The amended Prevention of Corruption Act mandates the state government's sanction for a criminal inquiry into a government servant.
As the Ponzi scam in the guise of Islamic banking involved investors in other states, with international ramifications, the BJP government transferred the case to the CBI in August from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the state police.
Khan and 5 directors of I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) were arrested and jailed last year after their alleged involvement in the Rs 4,000-crore scam came to light in June 2019.
The CBI had also booked on February 4 two senior IPS-rank officers Ajay Hillori and Hemant Nimbalkar of the Karnataka cadre for their alleged role in the Ponzi scam that rocked the southern state last year.
"Though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) alerted the state government and the city police about the illegal activities of the IMA group, including raising illegal deposits from investors through cash or gold jewellery, assuring them hefty interest and returns on maturity, no action was taken against the company for allegedly indulging in the criminal act," a CBI official had said earlier, citing the FIR against the accused.
The premier investigation agency has accused Nimbalkar of allowing IMA to carry out its illegal business by giving it a clean chit to carry on its business during his tenure as IGP in CID.
Similarly, Hillori was accused of ignoring the central bank's warnings and furthering the interests of Khan at the expense of innocent investors and depositors.