The Income Tax (I-T) department today began searches in over two dozen places related to Coffee Day Enterprises, the country's largest coffee company, including the premises of its promoter V G Siddhartha.
The searches, which are ongoing, covered over 20 locations in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Chikmagalur, including the Coffee Day Square in Bengaluru, the headquarters of Cafe Coffee Day, and Way2Wealth offices.
Siddhartha is the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister S M Krishna, who also served as external affairs minister in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-1 government as well as being a former Maharashtra governor.
He shifted his allegiance to the Bharatiya Janata Party in March this year in the presence of party president Amit Shah after decades of association with the Congress.
Coffee Day Enterprises is India's largest coffee retail chain, which has built a vertical integration by sourcing the coffee bean from its plantations in Chikamagalur to the consumer. I-T officials are also searching its coffee estates, reports said.
Siddhartha founded Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company Limited in 1992 and has been its chairman and managing director since January 2015.
He is considered a serial investor, having stakes in MindTree and other software firms. He is among the country's largest exporters of coffee bean.