Officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested BJP MLA and former Tourism Minister Anand Singh in connection with the probe into illegal mining and export of iron ore from Belekeri Port in Uttara Kannada district, here on Thursday morning.
Singh is the fourth MLA arrested in the case by the CBI. B Nagendra, Satish Sail and Suresh Babu are the three other legislators arrested recently. Nagendra and Babu are in custody while Sail has been allowed by the court to visit his ailing father.
Singh is accused of transporting 1.45 lakh tons of illegally mined ore that was exported by two trading companies. The CBI was looking for him since September 19, but he was not available for questioning. The MLA had got himself admitted in a hospital in Singapore while his lawyers applied for anticipatory bail on his behalf.
In his bail application, he had claimed that he was admitted to Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore for a heart ailment on September 20. The court had rejected his bail plea and the investigating agency had issued a lookout notice for him. A non-bailable arrest warrant was also issued by the court on October 11. Sources said the CBI had kept this under wraps to prevent Singh from evading arrest.
Meanwhile, the CBI headquarters in New Delhi too had started the process of issuing a red corner notice seeking Interpol assistance to arrest Singh.
Sources said his passport details revealed that on September 25, Singh had visited Muscat, Oman, and had returned to Singapore on October 5. On Thursday morning, at 8.45 am, Singh landed at Bangalore International Airport and the CBI officers arrested him at the immigration counter.
The team took him to the CBI office in the city, and he was later taken to the Bowring Hospital for a medical check-up, before being produced before the CBI court.
He was handed over to the CBI’s custody till October 26. Singh’s aide and employee Muthiyala Shivakumar was arrested on September 23.