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30 kg gold, Rs 1.5 cr cash found in Janardhana Reddy's house

07 September, 2011

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NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested former Karnataka tourism minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy after conducting raids at his Bellary residence. Janardhana Reddy has been arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating. Srinivas Reddy - the managing director of Obulapuram Mining Corporation (OMC) which is owned by the former minister - has also been arrested.

They have been taken to the CBI court in Hyderabad. The CBI is likely to demand for 15 days of custody of the duo.

"We will request the magistrate for 15 days of police custody. CBI can't work on allegations so we are gathering evidence. The priority is to gather evidence in the coming days," said VV Laxminarayana, DIG, CBI's Anti-Corruption Bureau, Hyderabad.

The CBI recovered 30 kg gold and Rs 1.5 crore cash from Janardhana Reddy's residence and Rs 3 crore cash from Srinivas Reddy after raids were conducted at their residences on Monday.

The arrests have been made under a 2009 FIR under sections of criminal conspiracy and cheating and also prevention of corruption act. An FIR was registered in 2009 after the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee wrote a letter against the Obulapuram Mining Company.

Both of them have now been taken to Hyderabad and will be produced in a CBI court.

The are allegations of irregularities in the mining activities of OMC which is owned by the brothers - G Karunakara Reddy, G Janardhana Reddy, G Somashekara Reddy.

The CBI team from Hyderabad led by its DIG, PV Lakshminarayana entered Janardhana Reddy's house late on Sunday night and escorted him to an undisclosed location for questioning, sources said.

The team also questioned Srinivas Reddy.

The probe agency action comes a day after Reddy's associate and former Karnataka minister B Sriramulu resigned from his Assembly seat, protesting against the BJP's denial to give him ministerial berth and also keeping Bellary Reddy brothers out of the ministry.

"There is no political vendetta. I am happy that ultimately the CBI has reached the Reddy brothers. Not only the Reddy brothers, all those involved in illegal mining should be punished," said JDS leader Nanaiah.

The Reddy brothers have been indicted in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining in Karnataka.

There is enough evidence in former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's report to probe the Reddy brothers on charges of money laundering, according to legal experts.

The Lokayukta report accused them of far more serious crimes than just accepting a bribe. The report says they have actually smuggled out iron ore from Karnataka and the Rs 215 crore money trail has led to accounts in the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Man(n).

Justice Hegde had asked the RBI and the Central government to act against the Reddy brothers for money laundering.

End.

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