Bengaluru: While hundreds of auto drivers eke out a living by driving their three-wheelers from morning till evening on dusty and unmotorable Bengaluru roads and yet find it difficult to make ends meet, here is an auto driver named Subramani (37) who owns a triplex villa worth Rs 1.6 crore in Whitefield.

Well, owning a villa is certainly no crime, but he has come under the radar of the Income Tax department sleuths as they smell something fishy in the way he has risen to richness and they raided his villa.

Sources say the sleuths confiscated jewellery worth Rs 7.9 crore, property documents and crores of rupees in cash at his villa in the gated community of Jetty Dwarakanamayi in Bengaluru on April 16.

But how did an auto driver leapfrog from being an ordinary man to possessing such wealth? Well, that makes us focus our lenses on a 72-year-old American woman, who the auto driver claims, came as a godsend and gave him charity.

According to Bangalore Mirror, the locals were quoted as saying, “He came to us driving his auto with the American woman in 2013, seeking a villa on rent. We gave it for a monthly rent of Rs 30,000. In 2015, he showed interest to buy it. He paid Rs 1.6 crore in 16 cheques, each of Rs 10 lakh.”

And as days passed by, Subramani stopped driving his auto. He would, sources add, play cricket in the morning and at night, drink with friends.

But if you talk to the man about his rags-to-riches story, he reiterates the charity part of the American lady.

“She was working in GE company in Whitefield and used to commute in my auto. She offered me help to get my children good education. As she lent me interest-free loan, I purchased the villa,” he says.

Later, he also adds the angle of vindictiveness by the owners. 

“Some villa owners, including me, have civil disputes against the owners. They are politically connected, they are using it to harass me,” he adds.

But there is certainly more than meets the eye. When it comes to properties, jewellery, cash in crores, can politicians be left far behind?

Sources say Subramani had photographed himself with the BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali during an event in his villa. So there are speculations about the close links between the two.

However, the BJP MLA was quick to jump and dismiss the links. “I had taken part in the Rajyotsava celebrations at the gated community as the area belongs to my constituency. Somebody might have taken the photo during the event,” he clarified.