Police on look out for 'absconding' Janardhan Reddy in a ponzi scheme case

Source: PTI | Published on 8th November 2018, 4:41 PM | State News |

Bengaluru: Ballari-based mining baron and
former Karnataka minister G Janardhan Reddy was absconding as
police were on the look out for him in connection with a money
transaction worth crores of rupees allegedly linked to a ponzi
scheme, top officials said Wednesday.


The Central Crime Branch police here is also hunting
for Reddy's close aide Ali Khan, who allegedly struck a Rs 20
crore deal with Syed Ahmed Fareed of Ambidant Marketing pvt
Ltd, a company accused of involvement in the ponzi scheme, to
bail him out from Enforcement Directorate investigation.


Bengaluru Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar said Reddy
was absconding and police were looking for him to question him
in connection with the case.


"Based on the information gathered the investigation is
going on further...CCB is after Ali Khan and Janardhan Reddy,"
he told reporters here.


CCB sleuths conducted a search at Reddy's Bengaluru
residence and seized some documents, Deputy Commissioner of
Police Girish S said.


He also said teams of CCB had gone to various places,
but declined to divulge more details.


The development comes a day after Reddy's close
confidant Sriramulu's sister J Shantha, a BJP candidate, lost
in the by-polls from Ballari Lok Sabha constituency,
considered a strong hold of the Reddy brothers.
The Congress won the seat breaking BJP's grip over
Ballari since 2004.


However, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok
Kumar said there was no political connection to the probe.
He said his team had been working on the case for the
last 20 days, but waited till November 3 for the bypolls to be
over for further action, so that it was not politicised.


Reddy, a Minister during the previous BJP rule, had been
arrested by the CBI in 2011 over alleged multi-crore illegal
mining scam and granted bail three years later.


Reacting to the latest development, Sriramulu claimed he
did not have any information about the case and whereabouts of
Reddy, but added and no one was above law.


"I don't have complete information...I have been saying
no one is above law. Let law take its own course," he said.
Asked whether Reddy was an accused or a suspect, the
police commissioner said, Fareed's claim is that he paid the
money, because he was promised help by Janardhan Reddy in
connection with the ED probe and Reddy will have to respond to
these claims.


"We also have to verify whether it is a fact, whether ED
has got any cases registered against Fareed... we have to
recover the public money that was part of the transaction," he
added.


The commissioner, however, clarified that as of now
there was no evidence to prove about Reddy bribing any ED
official.
He said "we will have to investigate it and will get in
touch with ED... We cannot straight away say that ED officials
are involved. If there is solid evidence, we will not spare
anybody."


Detailing about the case, police said Fareed set up
Ambidant around 2017 promising returns of about 40 to 50 per
cent for investment.


Responding to this, thousands of people invested their
money into the company, which initially paid good returns,
attracting more and more investors.


On the company failing to pay returns as promised, cases
were registered against it, officials said, adding that,
during January or February ED had also raided it.


They said, meanwhile, Fareed had met Reddy through Ali
Khan requesting for help in bailing him out of ED the case,
and Rs 20 crore was demanded in the form of gold through a
jeweller known to them in Ballari.


Explaining about the investigation, the Commissioner
said, during investigation CCB found a particular transaction
of Rs 18 crore being paid by Ambidant to one Ramesh Kothari,
who runs Ambika Jewellers in Bengaluru.


Kothari on questioning said he had given 57 kg of gold
to a jeweller named Ramesh, who runs Raj Mahal Fancy Jewellers
in Ballari.


Ramesh had claimed that the gold was handed over to
Reddy's associate Ali Khan, he said.


He said there was no arrest warrant against Reddy,
adding that CCB officials have conducted searches at a few
places in Bengaluru and Ballari in connection with the case.
On reports about Reddy and associates trying to get
anticipatory bail in Hyderabad, he said, he got to know about
it only through the media.


Police said they have photographs of some meetings to
prove Reddy's direct link to this case, about which they will
seek clarification from him during investigation.
Reddy would soon be issued summons in the course of
investigation.


Police said they have arrested Ramesh and gathered
several 'crucial' documents from him.
Fareed was also arrested, but currently out on bail. 

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