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Reddy in the dock: How gold became a cover to avoid a Rs 18 crore money trail

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    Bengaluru, Nov 8: Karnataka's former tourism minister, Janardhan Reddy has gone into hiding after the police launched a manhunt for him in connection with a ponzi scam case.

    Janardhan Reddy

    The probe was being conducted after the main accused in the case alleged that he had paid Reddy a huge sum in the form of gold to get out of the clutches of an ED official is probing the case. These allegations were made by Ahmed Fareed, the prime accused in the ponzi scam.

    Also Read | On the Janardhan Reddy had demanded Rs 20 crore in form of gold bullion

    What began as a routine investigation in November 2017 has turned out to be a major scam, with big names coming out. Another interesting aspect of this case is that the gold which the accused person speaks about has not been found. In fact there was never any gold transaction, a police source informed OneIndia.

    How it began:

    It was in November 2017 that some persons had lodged a complaint with the KG Halli police in Bengaluru. The investigations were immediately launched and this led the police to the prime accused in the Ponzi scam, Fareed. The complaint was that Fareed's company Ambidant Marketing Private Ltd had cheated as many as 15,000 investors with his scheme. He had promised them returns of up to 40 per cent per month on their investments.

    The police seized several documents and also his mobile phone. On the mobile phone, photographs of Janardhan Reddy were found. The police got suspicious and questioned Fareed about it, following which he revealed that he got in touch with Reddy to get out of an ED investigation. This was when the IT department and the ED were also roped in to probe the case.

    The matter was then taken up to the senior police officials, who decided to widen the ambit of the probe. The CCB was roped in and special teams formed to probe the case. Now there are four teams that have been formed to nab Reddy.

    Also Read | Day after Ballary poll, why is Janardhan Reddy on the run

    The gold that never was:

    Fareed said that when the ED probe began, he got in touch with Ali Khan, who is a close associate of Reddy. He also said that he along with his son Afaq had held a meeting with Janardhan Reddy at the Taj West End hotel in March 2018. He alleged that to get out of the ED's net, Janardhan Reddy had demanded a sum of Rs 18 crore in the form of gold bullions.

    Following this meeting, Ali Khan introduced Fareed to Ramesh, a Ballary based jeweller. Ramesh then introduced Fareed to another jeweller based out of Bengaluru, Ramesh Kothari. Fareed is alleged to have purchased gold worth Rs 18 crore and then handed it over to Reddy.

    The interesting point here is that the gold is yet to be recovered. Sources say that the gold was just a cover to move the money to Reddy. It is a fact that Fareed paid Rs 18 crore to the jeweller. A receipt was prepared for the same, but no transaction in gold took place.

    Also Read | Karnataka bypolls 2018: Why is victory in Bellary very special for Congress?

    Sources say that the intention was to drop off the money for Reddy at the jeweller. The gold was only a cover to avoid the money trail. The police have also recovered some crucial documents and are scrutinising the same.

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