New Delhi: Body of coffee tycoon VG Siddhartha, who went missing on Monday night, has been found on the banks of Netravati River near Hoige Bazaar after 36 hours of search operations in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
The body, which was recovered by a local fisherman five kilometres from Ullal, has been sent for post mortem following which it will be handed over to the family to conduct his last rites.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil said, “We found the body early morning today. It needs to be identified, we have already informed the family members. We are shifting the body to Wenlock Hospital. We will continue the further investigation.”
Siddhartha, the founder of India’s largest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) and son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna, had left behind a note to his employees that revealed he was in deep debt. In his letter to his company and family members, he expressed his anguish over failure to “create the right profitable business model” despite his “best efforts”. The letter which surfaced Tuesday afternoon read, “I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me.”
Intense search operations by multiple teams of police, Coast Guard and the NDRF were conducted for the past two days to locate the businessman who was last seen near a bridge on Netharavathi River around 6.30 PM near Mangaluru.
The details of the FIR filed by the driver stated that he was driving an Innova since morning when they left from Siddhartha’s Bangalore residence. They were headed back home by noon when he was asked by Siddhartha to take a detour towards Sakleshpur and then to Mangaluru.
Once they reached Mangaluru, the coffee chain founder asked him to halt at a bridge and wait on the other side of it. However, until 8 PM, Siddhartha did not return and could not be traced even on call.
Siddhartha had been facing trouble with the tax department. Moreover, his company had run into losses of Rs 7,000 crore. In his letter to the Board Directors and family members, Siddhartha had written he was under “tremendous pressure” from one of “the private equity partners”.
The businessman recently made the headlines for selling his stake in Mindtree to L&T which then mounted the first hostile takeover in Indian IT industry.