Mining baron held for Rs. 23 crore Ponzi Scam unearthed by Enforcement Directorate
Bengaluru: Ballari’s mining baron and former BJP Minister Gali Janardhana Reddy, who was questioned for hours in an alleged bribery case last evening, has been arrested this morning by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths, sources said. The former Minister in B.S. Yeddyurappa’s Government has spent three years in jail and is currently out on bail.
Reddy was arrested by CCB which is investigating into the Rs.23 crore Ponzi Scam unearthed by Enforcement Directorate after a raid on Ambidant Marketing Private Ltd. in Ballari in 2017. Reddy was subjected to medical test by the authorities and will be produced before a Magistrate seeking his custody for further questioning.
Forty-nine-year-old Reddy, who was elusive for about four days, appeared before the CCB for questioning last evening and he was grilled by the officials for more than six hours since then in connection with he (Reddy) allegedly receiving 57 kg of gold worth about Rs.18 crore and Rs.2 crore in cash for rescuing Ambidant company from Enforcement Directorate.
Reddy’s application for anticipatory bail was posted for hearing to Monday by a Court after asking his Lawyers “if he was innocent why he is not appearing before the CCB.” His close aide Ali Khan was also arrested by CCB along with him. Ali Khan was alleged to be the king pin through whom the gold was purchased from Raj Mahal Jewellers.
The Police had formed special teams to trace Reddy and others involved in the Ponzi scheme in which some 15,000 people were allegedly cheated out of their investments after they were offered high returns.
Coming just days after the BJP’s crushing defeat in the by-election to the Ballari Lok Sabha constituency, the new case against Reddy adds to the party’s troubles when the 2019 Lok Sabha election is only months away.
The BJP candidate (Shantha), who lost the Ballari Parliamentary seat is the sister of B. Sriramulu, a party MLA and a close associate of Reddy. Despite BJP’s clumsy efforts to distance itself from the mining mafia, it is common knowledge that Reddy is a key wheeler-dealer of the party in the State.
Though BJP National President Amit Shah publicly disowned Reddy during the May 2018 Assembly election, the party relied on him heavily.
Reddy himself was not given a party ticket, but eight of his family and friends were. They included Sriramulu, who was even tipped to become BJP’s Deputy Chief Minister if the party won the election.
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