Following CBI action, the Enforcement Directorate has lodged a case of money laundering against former ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar in connection with loans disbursed by bank to the Videocon Group which later turned into NPAs. Videocon Group had allegedly made investments into companies held by Chanda’s husband Deepak Kochhar after disbursal of loans cleared by Chanda.
Sources said the ED filed an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against Kochhars, Videocon promoter V N Dhoot and companies owned by Dhoot and Deepak. The case is based on the January 22 FIR lodged by CBI and has been registered under relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
ED sources said that the agency will now determine if “proceeds of crime” were used to create assets, which, agency sources said, could be attached in future.
The CBI has alleged that Chanda Kochhar had “dishonestly” granted loans to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees to the Videocon Group “in contravention of rules and policy …by abusing her official position”. It also alleged that Chanda Kochhar, who took an early retirement in October last year in the wake of allegations, had accepted “illegal gratification through her husband” Deepak Kochhar, in whose company Videocon group made investments after it was granted loans by the ICICI Bank.
The FIR has named Deepak Kochhar’s company Nupower Renewables Ltd, Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd, Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL), besides unidentified public servants, as accused.
The agency has also put under the scanner top bankers such as ICICI CEO Sandeep Bakshi, K Ramkumar, Sanjoy Chatterjee, NS Kannan, Zarin Daruwala, Rajiv Sabharwal, KV Kamath and Homi Khusrokhan for their role in sanction of loans to Videocon.
On March 31, 2018, The Indian Express had first reported how in December 2008, Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon Group set up a company with Deepak Kochhar and two of Chanda Kochhar’s relatives. Dhoot then gave a Rs 64-crore loan to this company through a fully-owned entity before he transferred the latter’s ownership to a trust headed by Deepak Kochhar for just Rs 9 lakh.