The Karnataka police have launched a massive hunt for former minister and BJP leader N Janardhana Reddy, who is also a minor baron and the main cash cow for the saffron party, which has been routed in the recent bypolls.
The Bengaluru city police, on Wednesday, announced that he is wanted in a ₹20-crore money-laundering case and launched a manhunt for him.
This comes a day after his friend B. Sriramulu from the BJP suffered a political setback in Ballari, with his sister J. Shantha losing in the bypolls.
The case pertains to a transaction by Syed Ahmed Fareed, founder of Ambidant Marketing Pvt. Ltd., who allegedly paid Reddy Rs20 crore — Rs2 crore in cash and 57 kg of gold bullion worth Rs18 crore — by laundering it through two jewellery firms.
Fareed has been in the dock for cheating thousands of investors after he promised them high
returns, but failed to deliver. It was while investigating the businessman that the police stumbled upon the payments made to Reddy.
“Fareed has claimed that he paid Reddy for his help in getting the Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation against his firm closed. But we are yet to verify this claim,” said Bengaluru Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar.
“ Reddy is absconding and efforts are on to bring him in for investigation,” he added.
K. Mehfuz Ali Khan, a close aide of Reddy, who allegedly received the payment, is also a prime suspect in the case and is currently absconding. A city court granted him anticipatory bail on Wednesday.
Special teams from the Central Crime Branch are in Ballari, Chitradurga, Hyderabad, and Kadapa in search of the duo.
The teams also raided multiple residences of Reddy and Khan in Bengaluru and recovered documents.
A team of Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials from Bengaluru, led by ACP Manjunath Choudhary, began search operations at Reddy's mansion in Ballari on Thursday.
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