The Central Crime Branch (CCB) unit of Bengaluru police on Sunday arrested former Karnataka minister G Janardhana Reddy and his close aide Ali Khan in connection with a bribery case, ANI reported. The mining baron spent the night at the crime branch office on Saturday after being questioned for several hours in the alleged Ambident Group bribery case.
Reddy was produced before a court later today. He was sent to judicial custody till November 24 after the court rejected the CCB’s plea for custody. Reddy’s counsel is likely to move for bail tomorrow, according to reports.
Alok Kumar Additional CP, Central Crime Branch, was quoted as saying by ANI, “We have taken the decision to arrest him on the basis of credible evidence and witnesses statements. We will produce him before the magistrate. We are going to recover the money and give it to the investors.”
Reddy, who was a minister in the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka, is alleged to have received an amount of Rs 20 crore – in the form of gold – to allegedly help a private firm, Ambident Pvt Ltd, dodge a money laundering case being pursued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Reddy came on CCB’s radar when the agency was probing cheating cases filed against Ambident for defrauding over 15,000 people to the tune of over Rs 600 crore through Ponzi schemes. According to CCB, Ambident’s founder, Syed Ahmed Fareed, had approached Reddy for help in dodging investigations launched by ED in the aftermath of cases registered by Bengaluru police this year. In return, the former minister had asked for Rs 20 crore in the form of gold from Fareed, police said.
Gold worth Rs 20 crore was allegedly transferred by Fareed to Bellary-based Rajmahal Fancy Jeweller, associated with Reddy and his group. The jeweller allegedly transferred the gold to Reddy, the CCB said. Ali Khan, Reddy’s close aide, was allegedly the negotiator of the deal.
The probe agency had launched a search operation against the minister after reports emerged that the minister had fled to Hyderabad. However, in a video message from an unknown location, Reddy said he was very much in the city and that there was no need for him to flee.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines