state news

Tamil Nadu: Sand mining baron Sekar Reddy in ED's custody after securing bail in CBI court

He was arrested in December 2016 after I-T raids found Rs 106 crore, of which Rs 10 crore was in new currency notes.

Tamil Nadu-based sand mining baron Sekar Reddy was detained by the Enforcement Directorate after he secured a conditional bail from a CBI court on Friday. Reddy is being investigated for holding large amounts of cash, including Rs 10 crore in new currency notes of Rs 2,000. On Monday, he was taken into custody alone with his associates, reported The Economic Times. He was also produced before a Metropolitan judge on Monday night.

A special CBI court had granted him bail after investigators failed to provide any proof to back their claim that the new notes were part of a section of serial numbers. The investigators have not been able to prove the role of banks or bank officials in connection with the seized cash either, reported The Hindu.

Reddy was arrested in December 2016 after a series of raids by Income Tax department sleuths, who found he had Rs 106 crore in cash, including the new currency. While the CBI believed that Reddy had got the money by exhanging notes in bulk with the help of bank officials, the defendants’ lawyers said it was business income.

Reddy was expelled from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthana after the I-T Department raided his premises on December 8 and 9. Reddy had reportedly visited Apollo hospital to offer the temple’s prasad to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on October 12, when she was undergoing treatment before her death on December 5.

The case also led to investigations against Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Ramamohan Rao, whose home and offices were raided. Rao, who was appointed to his post in June, allegedly has close links with Reddy. Reddy is well connected to many bigwigs and was involved in sand quarrying across the state over the past few years, according to The Indian Express. Scroll.in had reported earlier that Reddy had replaced O Arumugasamy as the biggest sand miner in the state after the latter fell out of Jayalalithaa’s good books.

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