Mining baron and former Karnataka minister, Janardhan Reddy was arrested on Sunday for playing a vital role in a multi-crore Ponzi scam. According to the Central Crime Branch (CCB), Janardhan will be presented in front of a magistrate in connection with a 600 crore fraud. Moreover, he will remain in custody till the 24th of November.
“We have taken the decision to arrest him on the basis of credible evidence and witnesses statements. We will produce him before the magistrate. All of us are going to recover the money and give it to the investors,” said Alok Kumar, Additional CP, Central Crime Branch. Janardhan Reddy, who was absconding since last Wednesday, appeared at the CCB office and stayed the night due to intensive questioning. He was then arrested on Sunday morning. According to Reddy, the allegations against him were a part of a ‘political conspiracy.’
One of Reddy’s close aids, Ali Khan, was also arrested by the branch due to involvement in the fraud case. Ali Khan and Reddy had taken a 20 crore bribe from Syed Ahmed Fareed of Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd. — a company accused of involvement in the ponzi scheme — to bail him out from the Enforcement Directorate investigation. The bribe was received in the form of 57 kg of gold. The gold was traced back to Ramesh Kothari who is the owner of Ambika Jewellers.
Ambidant Marketing had cheated over 15,000 investors. The company was involved in Islamic banking and halal investments. The firm, which ran ponzi scheme, had received a total investment of over Rs 954 crore. Under Islamic law, it is forbidden to make money by earning interest by putting money in fixed or recurring deposits. “They ran schemes such as Haj/Umrah plan, where they made people invest and promised to take them on a pilgrimage. Many invested in the scheme and lost their hard earned money,” a senior officer said.
Janardhan Reddy has been previously been arrested by the CBI. This was in 2011 for a multi-crore illegal mining scam. However, he was soon granted bail.
By Abhishek Aggarwal