Trustee says Rs. 6.70 crore was meant for buying property

A trustee of the Bala Sai Baba Trust approached the Saifabad police of Hyderabad on Thursday, claiming that the Rs. 6.70 crore seized by the police the previous day, belonged to the Trust.

After protracted questioning and verification of the claims made by trustee T. Rama Rao, the police finally handed over the money to the Income Tax department for further investigation. Mr. Rao maintained that the sum was supposed to be taken to Mysore in Karnataka for purchasing land for the Trust.

“He had shown documents confirming that he had withdrawn Rs. 4.98 crore from Andhra bank’s Domalguda branch on Wednesday by presenting a cheque issued by the Trust,” the Saifabad ACP, K.V. Ramnarsimha Reddy, said. The remaining cash, also belonging to the Trust ashram which was located in Domalguda, was added to the money withdrawn from the bank. Mr. Rao, according to the police, entrusted the responsibility of bringing the total amount of Rs. 6.70 crore to Mysore by road to a person called Vamshi. As per the schedule fixed, the trustee would fly to Bangalore while Vamshi would bring the cash there by road for payment to clear the land deal.

Vamshi was instructed to hand over the money to another person, Ansari, after reaching Bangalore. Ansari, in turn, would ensure the payment was made to the land seller as per the version of Mr. Rao, the police said. Vamshi started from Koti in an autorickshaw carrying the bag containing the cash to Ameerpet on Wednesday afternoon. The three-wheeler broke down while passing by the DGP office at Lakdikapool. Vamshi and the vehicle driver stopped another autorickshaw to shift the bags. A policeman smelt a rat as the duo had difficulty in shifting the bag. He rushed there and opened the bag only to find bundles of currency notes inside and alerted the higher-ups. “We handed over the money to IT authorities. They will take appropriate action,” the ACP said.

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