Minister Malla Reddy denies links with casino agents

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Telangana’s Labour Minister Malla Reddy on Thursday said he has nothing to do with the MLA sticker found on the car of Madhav Reddy, a casino agent whose residence was searched by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Madhav Reddy is an aide of Chikoti Praveen who is under ED scanner for money laundering through casinos in Nepal.

An assembly entry sticker issued to Malla Reddy was found on the car of Madhav Reddy  last week and this became a topic of discussion in political circles. Malla Reddy is an influential politician from North Hyderabad from where Chikoti Praveen and Madhav Reddy hail.

When the minister was asked about this, he said the sticker was issued in March and the same was removed from his vehicle and thrown away three months back. “Somebody may have picked up that sticker and pasted it on his car. I have nothing to do with this,” he was quoted by Telugu media.

Madhav Reddy’s house in Bowenpally was searched by the ED along with some other places belonging to him and Praveen Chikoti in Telangana for alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

They had allegedly taken punters from the two Telugu states in a special flight to a casino organised in a hotel in Nepal in June and organised high stakes gambling. ED questioned Reddy and Praveen for two days on Monday and Tuesday. Opposition Congress accused ruling TRS party of aiding casino agents.

The ED carried out searches at Chikoti’s house at IS Sadan in Hyderabad and farmhouse at Kadthal on the city outskirts.

The duo are suspected to have facilitated the transfer of the stakes at the casino, running into lakhs of rupees, through hawala channels.