Money laundering case: CCB to grill Janardhan Reddy

Money laundering case: CCB to grill Janardhan Reddy

Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths will soon question Ballari’s mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy, for his alleged involvement in a case of money laundering. 

The case states that Reddy’s personal assistant Ali Khan, allegedly received 57 kilogram in gold bullion (worth Rs 18 crore) from a Ballari jeweller.

CCB sleuths chanced upon Reddy’s involvement while they were investigating a ponzi scam; where a company based in DJ Halli in Bengaluru, named Ambidant, had cheated investors to the tune of 600 crore.

21 cases 

Around 21 cases were registered against the firm. Three cases were registered against its owners--a father-son duo-- identified as Syed Fareed Ahmed and Syed Afaq Ahmed.

The cases were registered in 2017 and both the accused were arrested and were later released on bail.

The firm promised investors high returns (upto 40 to 50%) in interest; to gain the trust of investors. The firm initially gave its customers good returns, but later, when the customer base and investments grew, they cheated their clients.

ED raid

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had raided the company after the allegations and cases were registered. As the cheated amount was over 600 crore, and nearly 15,000 investors were duped, the case was transferred to CCB.

During investigations, CCB sleuths, stumbled on numerous bank accounts held by Fareed and Afaq. Fareed had 12 bank accounts and a particular bank transaction of Rs 18 crore from his account to a city-based jeweller’s bank account caught CCB's attention.

Bengaluru jeweller

CCB sleuths identified the city-based jeweller as Ambika Sales Corporation and questioned Ramesh Kothari, its proprietor, with whom the 18 crore worth gold bullion transaction happened.

Kothari told the police that he had purchased gold bullion from a jeweller based in Ballari; identified as Ramesh, owner of Rajmahal Fancy Jewellers.

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He also told the police that the gold bullion weighed 57 kilograms. The police trailed the transactions and questioned Ramesh who alleged the gold bullion were handed over to Ali Khan, Janardhan Reddy’s personal assistant.

Reddy's photos 

CCB sleuths during investigations also stumbled on some photographs on Fareed and Afaq’s phone where they were meeting Janardhan Reddy at Taj West End Hotel in Bengaluru, in March 2018. The meet was facilitated by one Brijesh Reddy, a realtor and a HSR Layout resident.

“We are yet to recover the gold from Ali Khan who is absconding, and we will question Janardhan Reddy about the alleged money laundering,” said T Suneel Kumar, city police commissioner.

When asked why the mining baron’s involvement in the money laundering comes a day after Ballari bypolls, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar said, “If had disclosed Reddy’s involvement earlier, then the issue would have gotten politicised. We chose to follow instructions of our superiors to disclose it now.”

Bullion for bail

CCB sources hinted that Janardhan Reddy took Rs 18 crore from Ambidant’s Fareed and Afaq, to bail them out of the cases against them (registered by police and Enforcement Directorate).

The deal was struck at the Taj West End Hotel and was facilitated by Brijesh Reddy for Rs 20 crore. Fareed had paid Janardhan Reddy’s personal assistant Ali Khan 18 crore in gold bullion as part of the deal.