Kharapudi Mahesh an accused in the Bellary mining scam, who had managed to evade arrest during Thursday's CBI search operation, was finally arrested by the investigating agency early on Saturday morning. Confirming his arrest, CBI sources said that they would produce him before a magistrate at the earliest and seek his custody.

Mahesh's associate Swastik Nagaraj is already in CBI custody and is being interrogated about his role in the transport of thousands of tons of iron ore, mined illegally from Bellary and moved to the Belekeeri port. Mahesh and Nagaraj are reported to have collected Rs 35 crore each during their two year association when they extorted money, euphemistically called Bellary Risk, from those transporting illegally mined ore.