Bengaluru: The death of Coffee Day Founder V.G. Siddhartha has left many questions unanswered and doubts over him taking to extreme step of ending life. In a letter, supposedly written by Siddhartha, addressed to the Board of Directors of Coffee Day Enterprises and Coffee Day family members dated July 27, 2019, he has mentioned about the alleged harassment from an Income Tax (I-T) Department official.
But, the I-T Department, in its clarification, has questioned the authenticity of the note and claimed that the signature does not match with the Siddhartha’s signature available with the Department.
Further, the I-T Department stated that the sleuths began investigating into Siddhartha’s business dealing after a raid was conducted on properties belonging to a prominent Karnataka political leader.
Though the Department has not revealed the name of the political leader, it is rumoured that the leader mentioned in the letter belongs to the Congress party and holds a prominent position.
It may be recalled that the I-T Department had conducted raids at the Congress leader’s house during 2017 and had recovered documents related to business transactions between Cafe Coffee Day and Soul Space. On further investigation, it was found that the Cafe Coffee Day had transferred Rs.20 cr. to the political leader’s account.
“The investigation in the case of Shri VG Siddhartha and Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) arose from the search in the case of a prominent political leader of Karnataka. It is based on the unearthing of a credible evidence of financial transactions done by the CCD in a concealed manner,” the I-T Department’s statement said.
The Department has also mentioned that during the course of investigation into the transactions between CCD and Soul Space, an unaccounted cash of Rs.1.2 crore was recovered from one Rajaneesh Gopinath, a Singapore citizen, who had allegedly acted as a bridge between both the companies. He had later admitted that the cash belonged to Siddhartha.
It is also said that the I-T Department, which investigated into Rajaneesh’s mobile and call records came across few hawala transactions. Since Rajaneesh’s brother Muneesh is a Director of CCD’s Finance Department, it is believed that the hawala transactions were conducted through him. Sources also said that CCD had agreed to the hawala transactions during I-T Department’s investigation.