Illegal mining: CBI officials to visit Mauritius in February

Illegal mining: CBI officials to visit Mauritius in February

CBI today said its officials would visit foreign countries, including Mauritius and Virgin Islands, next month to track the trail of ''huge'' money transactions in connection with illegal mining.

"We will visit foreign countries, including Mauritius and Virgin Islands, in first week of February to track the trail of huge money transactions from companies owned by former minister G Janardhana Reddy into the country," CBI sources said.

CBI investigations have revealed that Reddy and his brothers owned six companies in foreign countries including Mauritius and Virgin Islands, sources said.

"These companies diverted money paid by Chinese companies for iron ore export," sources said, adding that the investigating agency will verify the flow of funds into the country.

CBI officials visited Reddy's residence here for the second consecutive day today in connection with the charge sheet filed against him in the illegal mining case involving his firm Obulapuram Mining Company, sources said.

The officials examined the details of the properties and assets owned by the former minister which was mentioned in the charge sheet.

On December 3, CBI had filed the charge sheet in a special court in Hyderabad against Janardhana Reddy, his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy (also Managing Director of the mining company) and against former Director of Mines and Geology (Andhra Pradesh) V D Rajagopal and OMC.

The Reddys, who were arrested on September 5 from Bellary, are presently in judicial custody and lodged in the Chanchalguda Central Prison in Hyderabad along with Rajagopal, who was arrested subsequently.

As per the charge sheet, Janardhana and Srinivasa entered into a criminal conspiracy with Rajagopal and late R Linga Reddy, the then Assistant Director (Mines and Geology in Anantapur district), Y Srilakshmi and others and got mining leases allotted to OMC Limited and indulged in illegal mining activities amounting to lakhs of tonnes iron ore.

Meanwhile, CBI said Personal Assisant to Janardhana Reddy should surrender before it "as soon as possible" in connection with the illegal mining case.

"K Mehfuz Ali Khan must surrender to the CBI as soon as possible to help unravel the illegal iron ore mining racket operated on the Andhra Pradesh-Karnataka border for almost a decade by Reddy’s aides," CBI SP (Hyderabad Division) M R Khan told reporters after visiting Reddy's house in Bellary.

The CBI had earlier put out a lookout notice and alerted all international airports in the country after it learnt Mehfuz had fled to Dubai when a series of arrests began, he said.
In November last year, CBI sources had claimed to have unearthed evidence from Mehfuz's laptop containing details on illegal mining involving 60 lakh tonnes of iron ore.

CBI sources had claimed that a file retrieved from the laptop threw light on the mining company's illegal mining operations.

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