Within hours after the body of Cafe Coffee Day founder, VG Siddhartha was found on the banks of the Nethravathi River in Mangaluru, shocking details are emerging concerning his alleged ‘hawala’ transactions involving Karnataka Congress strongman DK Shivakumar.
Hawala link with DK Shivakumar
According to Republic TV, sensational details have emerged related to the tax probe carried out by the Income Tax department against Siddhartha, the same investigation that VG Siddartha had dubbed as ‘harassment’ in his letter to the board dated July 27. Reportedly, the Income Tax department in New Delhi and Karnataka has made a series of disclosures over the circumstances surrounding VG Siddhartha going missing.
A Times Now report suggests that the investigation against VG Siddhartha began after the IT officials had searched properties of senior Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar. The agency had carried out searches on August 2, 2017, at DK Shivakumar’s properties, with the action also including raids at DK Shivakumar’s financial assistant N Chandrashekar Sukapuri’s residence.
MEGA #Exclusive | TIMES NOW accesses 2017 I-T raid documents on Café Coffee Day and its founder VG Siddhartha who committed suicide. @HeenaGambhir takes you through the #Exclusive documents revealing ‘Hawala’ transactions and money trail. | #CoffeeKingInvestigation pic.twitter.com/R9j240Dg5q
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) July 31, 2019
The Income-tax department alleged that they came across financial transaction between DK Shivkumar’s daughter and Cafe Coffee Day. Chandrashekar had admitted that Rs.20 crore was transferred to DK Shivkumar in a roundabout and concealed fashion by the CCD.
The Income Tax officials have also revealed that a person named Rajneesh Gopinath, brother of CCD Director of Finance Muneesh was found to be involved in various hawala transactions. He was allegedly involved in money laundering on behalf of CCD through Deekshith, an employee of CCD and a very close confidante of VG Siddhartha, another person Ravi and Rafi, an employee of Sharma Transport – known hawala operator and closely linked to DK Shivakumar.
Siddhartha’s signature in the letter does not tally with annual reports:
Interestingly, on Wednesday, the Income Tax officials have put out a statement saying that Siddhartha’s signature in the purported suicide note does not tally with the one in the Annual Reports of the Cafe Coffee Day raising suspicions about his death.
The Income Tax Department has also denied charges of harassment during their probe against Café Coffee Day promoter VG Siddhartha and pointed out that the signatures of the entrepreneur available with them were different from those on a letter being widely published on the social media.
Income Tax investigation against VG Siddhartha
VG Siddhartha had admitted of having an unaccounted income of Rs.362.11 crore and Rs.118.02 crore, in his hands and M/s Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd respectively in the sworn statement to the IT officials. VG Siddhartha had filed the revised return of income but had not included that undisclosed income, except the sum of around Rs.35 crore in his individual case.
As IT officials had got the information that VG Siddhartha is planning to sell his shares in Mindtree Ltd, they had swung into action finding that VG Siddhartha and M/s Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd together held nearly 21% of the shareholding in Mindtree Ltd. It was also gathered that the deal for sale of shares was set to be finalised in January 2019.
The IT Department said VG Siddhartha had fetched Rs.3,200 crore from the sale of Mindtree shares, and after paying back a loan of Rs 3,000 crore and other charges for the deal, the balance amount of Rs.46 crore was paid towards minimum alternate tax (MAT), out of total Rs 300 crore payable. The IT sleuths had also recovered numerous messages from his mobile phone that indicated his “active involvement in cross-border hawala transactions.”