ED’s action against the Kochhars precedes the filing of a charge sheet in the case, sources from the anti-money laundering agency claiming to have decided to take Deepak Kochhar, a man of ‘case in which the company received funds from Dhoot instead of sanctioning the ICICI bank. loans to the Videocon group, taken into police custody for refusing to cooperate.
Sources said the Kochhar and Dhoot dodged specific questions about the “quid pro quo” established by the money trail. “We have tracked all bribes paid to the Kochhars by Dhoot through banking transactions in companies and trusts owned and controlled by them,” said a senior official in charge of the investigation.
The source said during their questioning, Chanda Kochhar and Dhoot were stubbornly evasive despite being confronted with the details of the transaction establishing the alleged consideration. In January, the ED had attached Kochhars assets worth Rs 78 crore as “proceeds of crime”.
In its interim foreclosure order, the ED accused the banker and her husband of receiving Rs 64 crore from Videocon from NuPower Renewables Ltd, owned by Deepak Kochhar. The amount was transferred to the account of NuPower Renewables in September 2009, just one day after Chanda Kochhar-led ICICI Bank sanctioned a loan of Rs 300 crore to Videocon International Electronics Limited.
Chanda Kochhar is charged with “illegal sanction loans” worth Rs 1,875 crore to the Videocon group of companies. It was the CBI that filed an FIR against the former CEO of ICICI Bank and her husband on January 22, 2019.
Based on CBI’s FIR, ED opened an investigation under the Money Laundering Prevention Act following Rs 325 crore Deepak Kochhar allegedly received in his Nupower Renewables from two Mauritius-based entities. Chanda Kochhar was instrumental in the refinancing by ICICI Bank of huge loans to the Videocon group which then turned into non-performing assets for the bank.
In turn, Kochhar and his family are said to have received an apartment in Mumbai, worth Rs 75 crore, belonging to a company of the Videocon group. This was done by acquiring the company through the Chanda Kochhar Family Trust at a nominal price by creating accounting entries, according to the ED in its interim foreclosure order. An accounting entry refers to bogus transactions that are not supported by an actual exchange of money.
In video: ICICI-Videocon case: Chanda Kochhar’s husband arrested by ED for money laundering allegations