Bellary miners in ‘blacklist?’
Bellary: While Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley has warned the Congress it could be embarrassed once the names of people holding illegal foreign accounts are made public, local mining industry sources say the BJP too could be in for some embarassment as its once powerful leader and jailed mining czar, Gali Janardhan Reddy had rushed to Switzerland in December 2010, soon after the Income Tax department raided his properties, allegedly to safeguard his wealth stashed in the tax haven.
In fact, the revelations about three black money holders in the Supreme Court on Monday set off rumours in the mining town that a couple of names from Bellary too would to be made public soon. Mr Reddy’s name is being bandied about as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which claims to have evidence he owns iron ore mines in Australia and Indonesia and holds Swiss bank accounts, had not too long ago sent Letters Rogatory to the Man of Isle, British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Mauritius, Singapore and other tax havens seeking their consent for overseas investigation of the former tourism minister’s assets. However, highly placed sources say the CBI has not been successful so far as these countries have reportedly refused to divulge the account details citing their own laws.
Sources also claim the CBI has evidence of the financial transactions of Mr Reddy through the bogus companies he allegedly floated in Mauritius and other countries to under invoice the ore price in his exports. Former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde too had in his report on illegal mining, claimed that thousands of crores were transacted by the Bellary mining industry using benami bank accounts. Justice Hegde had suspected a large scale racket involving bank officials and the iron ore mafia was afoot to open bank accounts in fictitious names to siphon off money.