Janardhan Reddy’s aide faces arrest in Rs 20-crore bribe casehttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/janardhan-reddy-bjp-aide-faces-arrest-bribe-case-ponzi-scam-5456508/

Janardhan Reddy’s aide faces arrest in Rs 20-crore bribe case

Janardhan Reddy was arrested last week after investigations indicated that he was the final recipient of the Rs 20-crore fund — in the form of 57 kg gold and Rs 2 crore cash — transferred by Ambident Marketing to Khan in March.

G Janardhana Reddy. (Source: PTI photo/File)

A close aide of former BJP minister G Janardhan Reddy, who has admitted to receiving funds to the tune of Rs 20 crore from a finance firm accused of cheating investors of over Rs 600 crore through a ponzi scheme, faces arrest by the Central Crime Branch unit of Bengaluru police after a local court cancelled his bail on Tuesday.

A sessions court in Bengaluru cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to Mehfuz Ali Khan, an aide of the former BJP minister, after the Crime Branch told the court that Khan needs to be questioned in custody to determine the trail of Rs 20 crore funds, which Khan received from Syed Ahmed Fareed, the owner of Ambident Marketing Pvt Ltd in March this year.

Janardhan Reddy was arrested last week after investigations indicated that he was the final recipient of the Rs 20-crore fund — in the form of 57 kg gold and Rs 2 crore cash — transferred by Ambident Marketing to Khan in March.

Reddy was released on bail on November 14 after Khan, who got anticipatory bail in the case on November 5, told a magistrate’s court that he borrowed the Rs 20 crore from the financial firm to fufill religious obligations. He promised to return the money in 10 days.

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The Crime Branch sought cancellation of Khan’s bail on the grounds that he is likely to flee and renege on his promise to return the funds if he is not questioned in police custody following his own revelation that he received the funds from Ambident.

According to a police remand application filed last week, Janardhan Reddy held a meeting with Ambident Marketing’s owner Syed Fareed at a plush hotel earlier this year, and according to Fareed demanded Rs 25 crore to settle a case filed against the firm by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). According to the police, Fareed offered to pay Rs 20 crore, and Reddy demanded the payment in the form of gold.

The Crime Branch has stated that Fareed transferred Rs 18 crore from his bank in four tranches through the month of March to a jewellery firm in Bengaluru — Ambika Sales Corporation — to buy gold. The gold was transported by Khan to Rajmahal Fancy Jewellers in Bellary. An amount of Rs 2 crore was allegedly transferred to the Reddy aide by Fareed.

Sources in Crime Branch said Khan’s questioning is crucial to find out how the gold given by Ambident was disposed of after it was parked with the Bellary jeweller earlier this year.