Bengaluru: Former BJP minister and mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy was arrested by the Central Crime branch (CCB) here on Sunday in a money laundering and bribery case in which he is accused of demanding a bribe to bail out the owners of Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, an investment company, facing an Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation. Ambidant allegedly duped over 15,000 customers of over Rs 900 crore in a Ponzi scheme.
Reddy was produced before the 6th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court which remanded him to judicial custody till November 24. He is currently lodged at the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison here.
Reddy, who was allegedly on the run ever since news of the scam broke out, had reached the CCB office Saturday noon where he was grilled.
On Sunday morning, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar announced Reddy's arrest and said, "We have taken the decision to arrest him on the basis of credible evidence and statements of witnesses. We are going to recover the money and give it back to investors."
Reddy has been booked under sections 204 (destruction of evidence). 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and multiple sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He was accused of demanding 57 kg of gold worth Rs 18 crore from Ambidant company's owner Syed Fareed Ahmed to save him from the ED's clutches. Fareed who is on bail, reportedly revealed to the police how the deal was struck and the gold handed over to Reddy.
Sources said that during the investigation, it came to light that Fareed met Reddy through his close aide, Mehfuz Ali Khan and struck a deal. Reddy allegedly demanded 57 kgs of gold as bribe through a jeweller. Ambidant allegedly paid Rs 18 crore to Ramesh Kothari of Ambika Jewellers in Bengaluru who handed over 57 kg of gold to jeweller Ramesh of Raj Mahal Fancy Jewellers in Ballari. From Ramesh, Khan collected the gold for Reddy. Khan was also summoned by the CCB for questioning.
However, Reddy has denied the allegations and any involvement in the affairs of Ambidant while asserting that he was being framed.
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