ED Nabs Businessman Sekhar Reddy on Money Laundering Charges

The Enforcement Directorate arrested sand mining baron Sekhar Reddy on Monday after 11 hours of questioning.

The Enforcement Directorate arrested PWD contractor and sand mining baron Sekhar Reddy late on Monday after close to 11 hours of questioning.

Reddy has been remanded to judicial custody till 28 March.

ED has registered a case under sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on an FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

In December, 2016, Reddy and his aide Srinivasulu were arrested and were out on bail after a huge quantity of cash both in new (Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes introduced post-demonetisation) and discontinued notes (old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes) were seized during Income Tax raids from properties owned by the duo. A case was then registered in a CBI court.

The IT officials reportedly seized Rs 130 crore including Rs 70 crore in new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and over 100 kg of gold from premises of Sekhar Reddy and his two associates in Chennai during the raids.

Reddy was also a member of the Tirupathi Devasthanam Board and was reportedly close to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Tamil Nadu’s top bureaucrat, former Chief Secretary Rama Mohana Rao.

Following these raids, Rao and his family’s properties (13 in total other than his Anna Nagar residence in Chennai) were searched in December.  Reddy and Srinivasulu are alleged to be the benami of the former Chief Secretary.

Raids were also conducted at Rao’s office in the TN Secretariat

IT officials reportedly seized Rs 30 lakh in new currency, 5kg gold and documents with details of undisclosed assets worth Rs 5 crore from Rao’s residence and properties belonging to his relatives.

Rama Mohana Rao was removed as Chief Secretary following the IT raids.