Rama Rao said he had hired the auto to take the cash-filled bags to Hi-Tech City area to hand it over to an agent through whom the Trust was planning to buy land in Mysore. A self-styled godman, Bala Sai Baba, has a sizeable following in the state. He has an ashram in Kurnool and one at Domalguda in Hyderabad.
Officials investigating the case are skeptical about Rama Rao’s claims. DCP Dr Tarun Joshi said, “He could not give proper answers as to why he chose to move such huge quantity of cash in an autorickshaw or why he didn’t intervene when police seized it last evening. He says that he withdrew Rs 4.98 crore from Andhra Bank branch in Domalguda and borrowed rest of the money from friends.”
The police said Rama Rao couldn’t provide more information about the land deal. “He claims that he was carrying the cash in his car but it broke down on the way and the driver of the auto, which also broke down in front of the DGP office, was actually his car driver. There are many loopholes in the story. The I-T department has now taken over the matter. They will verify from where the cash came from,’’ said Joshi.