CCD Founder VG Siddhartha's body has been recovered from Netravati river near Mangaluru after a 35-hour extensive search. VG Siddhartha, son-in-law of SM Krishna, went missing on Monday. His body was found near the Hoige Bazaar.
Siddhartha left Bengaluru on Monday afternoon to Sakleshpur near Hassan where he has a house and one of his coffee estates. As it was on way to Mangaluru, he told his car driver Basavaraj Patil to drive towards Mangaluru after a short break at Sakleshpur to fresh-up. But did not return.
Siddhartha is the elder son-in-law of senior BJP leader, S.M. Krishna, who was External Affairs Minister in the UPA-2 government (2009-12) and state Chief Minister (1999-2004) when in the Congress.
What VG Siddhartha said in his purported last letter
VG Siddhartha has apparently left behind to his employees a letter now doing the rounds on the social media. In the letter addressed to the 'Board of Directors and Coffee Day family', VG Siddhartha has apologised for having failed to create the right profitable business model despite his best efforts. "I would like to say I gave it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. fought for a long time but today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shores, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend," reads the letter from VG Siddhartha.The coffee baron in his letter requested everyone associated with the business to be strong and to continue running these businesses with a new management.
“I sincerely request each of you to be strong and to continue running these businesses with a new management. I am solely responsible for all mistakes. Every financial transaction is my responsibility. My team, auditors and senior management are totally unaware of all my transactions. The law should hold me and only me accountable, as I have withheld this information from everybody including my family,” he added.
VG Siddhartha said he has failed as an entrepreneur and his intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody.
“My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody, I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission, I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me. I have enclosed a list of our assets and tentative value of each asset. As seen below our assets outweigh our liabilities and can help repay everybody,” he said.
Links with DK Shivakumar emerge:
Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar claimed that he got a call from VG Siddhartha on July 28, who asked him to meet. He also called the letter written by Siddhartha to the board and employees "utterly fishy". Siddhartha was raided. More than Rs 300 crore in "undisclosed income" was reportedly found in raids on Karnataka minister Shivakumar and his family and associates in August 2017. The raids were seen as politically motivated. About Rs 100 crore of this was found from Shivakumar, or DKS as he is known, and his family, the I-T Dept said.
In January this year, Income Tax officials interrogated Shivakumar for over two hours in connection with the alleged unaccounted cash and documents that were seized from his premises during the raid in August 2017. The I-T department went into overdrive by conducting raids in over 20 locations related to various actors and producers from the sandalwood industry and didn't spare the Congress leader either. The IT Department said Siddhartha fetched Rs 3,200 crore from the sale of Mindtree shares, but had paid only Rs 46 crore out of the total Rs 300 crore minimum alternate tax (MAT) payable on the deal. The raids against the group around the same time as DKS were carried out as a result of a similar action against a prominent Karnataka politician and sources said Siddhartha, in a sworn statement, "admitted" unaccounted income of Rs 362.11 crore and Rs 118.02 crore in his hands and that of Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd respectively. They alleged that tax sleuths recovered numerous messages from his mobile phone that indicated his "active involvement in cross-border hawala transactions." A Singaporean citizen was searched in this case and he was found with unaccounted cash of Rs 1.2 crore and the person told tax officials that it belonged to Siddhartha, they claimed.