CBI set to charge Janardhan Reddy for illegal iron ore exports

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday moved closer to filing a charge-sheet against G Janardhana Reddy, iron-ore mining baron and former Karnataka tourism minister, in connection with export irregularities by his Obulapuram Mining Co (OMC).

Both Reddy and OMC managing director B Srinivas Reddy are in a Hyderabad jail under judicial custody since 5 September. Their remand officially ends on 31 October.

"We will file the charge-sheet in the special CBI court in Nampally very soon on the export of iron ore from OMC belonging to Janardhan Reddy to other countries," CBI zonal joint director V V Lakshminarayana told newspersons in Hyderabad after he led a team to Krishnapatnam Port to verify exports of the iron ore mined by OMC.

The CBI official said as per their documents, the bulk of OMC's iron ore exports have been from Krishnapatnam Port, and the CBI would now collect details on the exports.

Reports say the CBI has found anomalies in the exports – it has assessed that OMC was exporting three times more iron ore than it claimed. The agency is also believed to have collected several details from the customs department and found that the OMC has several 'benami' firms – companies that are ostensibly separate, but are actually fully controlled by OMC. It is now in the process of finding evidence on the benami companies and their exports.

The mining company is further accused of changing mining lease boundary markings between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and carrying on illegal mining in the Bellary Reserve Forest area, spread between Bellary district of Karnataka and Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh.