CCD founder VG Siddhartha found dead; LATEST updates: The body of VG Siddhartha, founder of India’s largest Coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day, is being shifted to the Wenlock hospital in Mangaluru, where family members will be formally asked to identify the body. Later, the post-mortem will also be carried out at the same hospital.
The body of Cafe Coffee Day owner VG Siddhartha has been found. The body was recovered by a group of fishermen from the Netravati river, near Hoige Bazaar beach in Mangaluru. The spot from where the body was recovered, was reportedly some distance away from the bridge he was seen on last.
The body of VG Siddhartha, founder of India’s largest Coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day, was found on Wednesday morning. According to News18, the body was recovered from the Netravati river where Siddhartha was seen last on Sunday night.
At the end of a meeting, Coffee Day Enterprises’ Board released a letter, in which it said that it is shocked that Siddhartha has been absent since Monday. The letter, however, says that the operations of the company will remain unaffected, as reported by CNN-News18.
According to reports, a helicopter from Kochi that was supposed to join the search operations for Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha on Tuesday has not been able to take off due to bad weather.
News18 quoted Congress leader UT Khader as saying, “Even if it takes off now, we don’t have much time before day light ends. We are seeing if search operations can continue through the night because 24-36 hours are crucial.”
Former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy weighed in on the disappearance of Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha and said that he “gave life to many villagers”.
“Siddhartha faced several challenges. He is a role model for youngsters. I met him 7 months ago. He spoke about the income tax raids but didn’t make any charges against anyone. But I saw his letter in the media and it is surprising. Friends also told him to sell the assets but there are some issues with few debts,” he was quoted by India Today as saying.
Karnataka Bank has written to the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange claiming that VG Siddhartha’s company, Coffee Day Enterprises which is the parent company of the Cafe Coffee Day franchise, owes the bank Rs 152.48 crore.
Local media reports quoting the letter also said that the bank claimed that Siddhartha’s firm pledged property to take the loan.
According to various reports, Siddhartha was talking to someone over the phone when he asked his driver to stop the car near Netravati river and got down around 6:30 pm on Monday. After he failed to show up several minutes later, the driver panicked and called the family.
As part of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of business tycoon VG Siddhartha on Tuesday, the Karnataka Police searched the premises of his coffee estate in Mudigere in Karnataka. Local reports also said that the employees working at the estate are also being questioned in the probe.
Congress leader Milind Deora said the disappearance of Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha was the “ugliest example of agency persecution wrecking India’s growth story”.
He also hoped that Siddhartha is safe and is found soon. He added, “Siddharth is an exceptional entrepreneur who introduced millions of Indians to coffee.”
Heavy rain is creating a roadblock in the search operations for VG Siddhartha at the site of his disappearance around the Netravati River and bridge near Mangaluru in Karnataka. The Cafe Coffee Day founder was last seen on the bridge.
The river directly opens into the sea at a distance of 600 metres, India Today reported.
VG Siddhartha, in his letter, said that he was “solely” responsible for the “mistakes” made. He also requested the staff and the board of directors, to whom the letter was addressed, to be “strong and continue running these businesses with a new management”.
He also said, “Every financial transaction is my responsbility. 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. My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody, I have failed as an entrepreneur.”
Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, who went missing on Monday night in Mangaluru, in his letter said that there was “tremendous pressure” from other lenders which lead him to “succumb to the situation”.
“There was a lot of harassment from the previous DG income tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking position of our Coffee Day shares, although the revised returns have been filed by us,” he said in the letter.
CNN-News18 has accessed a letter purportedly written by Cafe Coffee Day owner VG Siddaratha to the staff of the chain restaurants. In the letter, of which the authenticity and veracity is yet to be confirmed by the Karnataka Police, Siddhartha said that he has failed as an entrepreneur.
VG Siddhartha, the founder of Coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day who also owns Asia’s single-largest coffee estate, is reportedly missing since Monday evening. His phone has been switched off since Monday night.
He is the son-in-law of veteran BJP leader SM Krishna.
Siddhartha was on his way to Mangaluru, Karnataka, and is currently not traceable. Dakshina Kannada Police have intensified their search for the businessman.
According to news reports, on Monday, the 58-year-old entrepreneur left for Chikkamagalur on a business trip in his Innova car. From there, he was to travel to Kerala. But he asked the driver to stop his car at National Highway in Jeppina Mogaru near Mangaluru and got down from the vehicle.
The car driver is said to have told family members that Siddhartha asked him to stop the car at Jepoina Mogaru after which he got down from the vehicle. Siddhartha was allegedly speaking over the phone when he instructed the driver.
Karnataka: VG Siddhartha, son-in-law of former CM SM Krishna and the founder-owner of Cafe Coffee Day, has gone missing near Netravati River in Mangaluru; Search operation underway. pic.twitter.com/qQf1H3xzAV
— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2019
The driver waited for Siddhartha, but when he did not return even after half an hour, the driver made a call but Siddhartha’s phone was switched off.
The driver informed Siddhartha’s family immediately.
Jeppina Mogaru, where Siddhartha went missing is situated on the banks of Nethravathi river.
The Mangalaru City Police got a report that someone had jumped off the Ullal bridge and according to statements from people, it is suspected to be Siddhartha, said media reports.
As news of Siddhartha’s missing spread, people began gathering outside the residence of SM Krishna.
Karnataka: People gather at former Karnataka CM, SM Krishna’s residence in Bengaluru; His son-in law & founder-owner of Cafe Coffee Day, VG Siddhartha, has gone missing near Netravati River in Mangaluru. pic.twitter.com/tj04e5eoYO
— ANI (@ANI) July 30, 2019
Siddartha hails from Chikkamagaluru and is married to the daughter of former chief minister of Karnataka, SM Krishna.
After completing his post-graduation, Siddartha started working at JM Financial Limited in Mumbai. Later, he shifted to Bengaluru and started a company in the name of Sivan Securities. The company was renamed Global Technology Ventures in the year 2000. Along with that he also started the Cafe Coffee Day chain. He has been credited with making the Chikkamagaluru coffee popular worldwide.
The Mindtree connection
In January, the Income Tax Department attached a portion of shares held by V G Siddhartha and Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd in IT firm Mindtree over a potential tax demand. The attachment also “prohibited for transfer or charge” of 22.2 lakh equity shares of Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd, and 52.7 lakh shares held by Siddhartha.
The Cafe Coffee Day founder was in the news recently for having sold his 21 percent stake in the Bengaluru-based IT firm, Mindtree to infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T). Mindtree’s promoters— Subroto Bagchi, Krishnakumar Natarajan, NS Parthasarathy, and Rostow Ravanan, together held roughly 13 percent stake in the company, besides VG Siddhartha.
The sale of Siddhartha’s shares put Mindtree in the midst of a takeover battle. Mindtree promoters were opposed to the deal.
According to a CNBC-TV18 report, Siddhartha had invested Rs 340 crore for stakes in Mindtree since 1999. After selling his 20.4 percent stake to L&T, he pocketed a massive profit of nearly Rs 3,000 crore after 20 years.
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CCD founder VG Siddhartha found dead; LATEST updates: Body found near Hoige Bazaar beach in Mangaluru after 36-hr-long search ops – Firstpost