The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing illegal mining by former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy, is now focusing its attention on the export of iron ore by the mining baron.
A team of CBI officials led by Joint Director VV Lakshminarayana Thursday reached Nellore district and began the probe at Krishnapatnam port, from where the maximum quantity of iron ore was exported by Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) owned by Janardhana Reddy.
"Iron ore was exported from various ports and the maximum percentage was from Krishnapatnam port. We want to know how much was exported from here and what procedures the port authorities followed," Lakshminarayana told reporters.
The federal agency will also gather information from customs officials with regard to exports from the private port.
"The port authorities had already sent some documents to us. We have examined them and have come here as part of the investigations," he said.
According to the Karnataka Lokayukta report, the maximum export of illegal iron ore took place from Krishnapatnam port. Out of the total iron ore exports of 3,31,04,866 tonnes from seven ports since 2006-07, Krishnapatnam accounted for 1,11,70,994 tonnes.
Lakshminarayana, who is also leading the investigations into alleged illegal assets of MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, said their main concentration was on illegal mining as the arrests had been made in the case and "we have to soon file the charge sheet".
Janardhana Reddy and his brother-in-law and OMC managing director B.V. Srinivasa Reddy are currently lodged in Chanchalguda Central Jail here.
The CBI arrested the duo from Bellary in Karnataka Sep 5 in connection with illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district bordering Karnataka. The probe was ordered by the Andhra Pradesh government in 2009.
The Supreme Court last month ordered the CBI probe into illegal mining in Karnataka.