Kosaraju Venkateswara Rao, the prime accused in the Rs. 32 crore Krushi Bank scam that rocked Andhra Pradesh eight years ago, was on Friday released from Chanchalguda central jail here after the Supreme Court granted him bail.
After spending more than three years behind bars, the former chairman of the Krushi Cooperative Urban Bank walked out of the jail, denying that he duped anybody and promising to pay money to the depositors.
He told reporters that he had assets of Rs.80 crore including those attached by the Crime Branch — Criminal Investigation Department (CB CID) of the state police.
“Justice will be done to every depositor,” he said adding that he had to pay only Rs. 4 crore to depositors as the remaining amount would be paid by police from the attached properties.
“It was not a scam. Several top banks were closed down in the country because of various reasons,” he said. He also said he had to flee to Bangkok as he was facing threat to his life from “some elements.”
The Supreme Court on Aug 24 had granted bail to Rao on the condition that he deposits Rs.2 crore — through Rs.50 lakh security each from four people.
The agricultural bank had collapsed in 2001 landing over 10,000 depositors in financial difficulties. Fearing arrest, Rao fled to Bangkok.
Rao, a native of Krishna district in coastal Andhra, was arrested in Bangkok by the Interpol in 2005 and was extradited to India in June 2006.
His relatives, the bank’s Vice-Chairman, K. Venugopal and sister K. Sunita were arrested earlier.
Rao denied he was getting ‘VIP treatment’ in jail. “I was provided facilities for doing physical exercise and these are given to all prisoners on request,” he said.
Rao, who was sharing the cell with disgraced Satyam Computers founder B. Ramalinga Raju in the Rs. 78 billion accounting fraud in the IT major, said he knew Raju only as co-prisoner.
He said he had no plans to reopen the bank and would announce his future plans soon.