Bengaluru: The manhunt for mining baron and former BJP minister G. Janardhan Reddy by the Central Crime Branch (CCB), ended on Saturday with Mr Reddy appearing before the police for questioning. He appeared before the police a day after a local court refused him anticipatory bail, protesting his innocence and insisting that he had been in Bengaluru, and therefore there was no question of a manhunt.
The CCB was looking for the absconding former minister in an alleged bribery case involving Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, a city-based fraudulent investment company, which has cheated over 15,000 investors of over Rs 600 crore.
Ambidant owners Syed Fareed Ahmed and Syed Afaq Ahmed had accused Mr Reddy of demanding 57 kg of gold worth Rs 18 crore to bail them out of ED investigation into their fraudulent transactions, including huge investments in cryptocurrency.
Mr Reddy walked into the CCB office with his lawyer Chandrasekhar on Saturday afternoon and denied his involvement while extending his cooperation in the investigation.
Denying reports that he was evading arrest, Mr Reddy told the media that he was not absconding and that he had been in Bengaluru all the time. “I received the summons only on Saturday morning and I have appeared before the police today,” he said.
"When the issue was first reported in the media, I told my lawyer that it would be better to go to the police. But my lawyer asked me to wait until I received the summons and also informed me that my name does not appear inthe FIR," he told reporters. While CCB officials claim that they are armed with evidence against Mr Reddy for his transactions with Ambidant, Mr Reddy maintained that he has not done anything wrong and the police don't have any proof. "I can guarantee you that they won't find anything to incriminate me," he said.
A senior CCB officer, who was part of the team that questioned Mr Reddy, said that the former mining baron maintained that he had no involvement in the fraudulent investment scam. He accepted that he met Syed Fareed and his son Syed Afaq Ahmed but for other reasons.
Mr Reddy, prior to appearing before the CCB, released a video from an undisclosed location, claiming that he is not absconding and that he is in Bengaluru. He also asked for two of the investigating officers in the case to be changed.
Hours after Mr Reddy was quizzed, the CCB summoned owner of Ambidant Syed Fareed Ahmed to confront him with Mr Reddy. Several investors who have been cheated by Ambidant, meanwhile, also came to the CCB office on Saturday with documents to file complaints. But they were sent back by the CCB officials, asking them to file complaints at jurisdictional police stations.
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