Former Karnataka minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy Saturday arrived at crime branch office in Bengaluru for questioning in connection with a bribery case.
Earlier in the day, he had said that he would appear before the police in connection with the case and claimed that he had not done anything wrong. Rubbishing media reports that he had fled to Hyderabad, Reddy, in a video message from an unknown location, said he was not absconding and was very much in the city. He further asserted that there was no need for him to flee. “I have not committed anything wrong. The police do not have not a single document to prove that I am wrong. They are misleading the media,” he claimed in his message.
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) unit of Bengaluru police had Wednesday launched a search for Reddy in connection with a cheating case in which he 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, who was a minister in the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka, said he never panicked as his name neither figured in the first information (FIR) report, nor was any notice served to him. “Now that the notice has been issued by the police, I have decided to appear before the Central Crime Branch today itself though the notice says I should appear on Sunday,” Reddy said.
“I decided to make this video to let people know the truth. I have faith in the police and believe that they would not succumb to any political pressure,” he added.
CCB police had stumbled on Reddy’s role while probing cheating cases filed against Ambident, a financial services firm, for defrauding over 15,000 people to the tune of over Rs 600 crore through Ponzi schemes. The CCB found that Ambident’s founder, Syed Ahmed Fareed, had approached the former minister for help in dodging investigations launched by ED in the aftermath of cases registered by Bengaluru police this year. The police said Janardhan Reddy sought Rs 20 crore in the form of gold to help Fareed.
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.
A search was launched for Janardhan Reddy and his close aide, Ali Khan, who negotiated the Rs 20-crore deal, the Bengaluru police commissioner had said Wednesday.
With PTI inputs