ED attaches Rs884-cr assets in Janardhana Reddy firm

Gali Janardhana ReddyContinuing its crackdown on the illegal iron-ore mining mafia in Andhra Pradesh, the Enforcement Directorate this morning attached shares and assets worth Rs884 crore of Brahmani Industries Ltd (BIL), controlled by the state's former tourism minister Gali Janardhana Reddy.

The ED, which is investigating money laundering cases against the now jailed Reddy and his mining companies, has attached 88,41,30,000 shares with a face value of Rs10 each. The money was invested by Obulapuram Mining Co Pvt Ltd (OMC), also controlled by the Reddy brothers, in Brahmani Industries.

The ED has also directed BIL directors not to dispose of, transfer, sell, move, lease out or deal in any similar manner in the plant, machinery, land, equipment, or appliances of the company, and not alter its equity structure.

The Bangalore zone arm of the ED started investigating a money laundering case against Reddy, his brothers G Karunakara Reddy and G Somashekara Reddy – all former ministers in the state government – and associates, all once politically powerful in the state, after the Central Bureau of Investigation's anti-corruption branch in Hyderabad filed a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Forest Act, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

After investigation, the CBI had in 2011 filed charges in court charging Reddy and his associates with committing offences under these Acts.

In the report CBI found out that OMC had illegally mined iron ore valued Rs884.13 crore between 2007 and 2010 and had invested the proceeds in BIL in the form of shares.

Now the ED has attached these shares and is investigating the matter further. Meanwhile, Reddy has been languishing in the jail for over a year now, although his brothers continue to remain at large.