Bandit Koose Muniswamy Veerappan's old economy method of earning a living sprang into prominence in August, when he kidnapped Bangalore film star Rajkumar. The actor was released last week, after 109 days in captivity in the jungle. Authorities were said to have paid $213,310 (10 million rupees) for his release.
Now authorities fear the bandit may have set sights on Azim Premji, founder and chief shareholder of Wipro, India's leading computer services firm. Premji is India's richest man. Forbes magazine reported his fortune to be worth $6.9 billion.
Veerappan, who is said to have killed almost 120 people, is also believed to have earmarked another computer tycoon, Infosys CEO Narayana Murthy.
The South China Morning Post reported that police had assigned four commandos to each billionaire, to give them round-the-clock protection.
Singapore.CNET.com's Susan Tsang reported from Singapore