Economy

ED arrests sand mining baron Sekar Reddy in Tamil Nadu

ED arrests sand mining baron Sekar Reddy in Tamil Nadu

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested sand mining baron J Sekhar Reddy and his two alleged associates in connection with a money laundering case registered post demonetisation.

Reddy, who was arrested by CBI previous year in December in connection with holding huge amounts of unaccounted income worth rupees 130 crore, has been taken into custody again. Mr Reddy was arrested late last night and produced before a Magistrate at his residence and remanded in Judicial custody till March 28. After Sekhar Reddy, and Sreenivasulu Reddy were arrested on December 21 in connection with the seizure of currencies, three of their other associates Premkumar, Rathinam and Ramachandran were arrested the next day after the IT department officials also raided their residential and office premises.

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The charge sheet has clearly stated that Shekhar Reddy is a government contractor, partner of SRS Mining based in Chennai and operates the majority of sand quarries at Vellore and neighboring districts in Tamil Nadu.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) then accuses Shekhar Reddy and his associates to have deprived the public in enforcing their right by using unknown public servants from different banks to illegally convert demonetised notes into new notes. Also, an important fact that came to the limelight soon after the arrest of Reddy was that he has close connections with many influential people in the state. He was also seen in a picture with former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

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Officials said the three were arrested on Monday under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after they were called for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) here. The ED is trying to find out how the money in new currency in such large numbers had reached these persons.

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