The Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigating the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case has launched an investigation into companies allegedly owned by businessman Deepak Kochhar in order to ascertain their flow of funds.
Kochhar was arrested by the agency on Monday on charges of money-laundering. “Various persons have been identified who are linked to various sham transactions in the instant case and voluminous documents have been seized, obtained from various persons/entities,” the agency probe revealed. “The documents provide details of various other companies controlled/managed/owned by Deepak Kochhar and investigation in order to ascertain the flow of the suspected funds through the said companies is ongoing,”
The ED has registered a case against M/s Videocon International Electronics Limited (VIEL), M/s Videocon Industries Limited (VIL), V.N Dhoot, managing director of Videocon group, Chanda Kochhar who is former managing director and CEO of ICICI bank, Deepak Kochhar who is MD of Nupower Renewables Limited (NRL), M/s Supreme Energy Private Limited (SEPL) and “other unknown private and public servants.”
According to the ED probe, Rs 64 crore of the amount of Rs 300 crore sanctioned by a committee headed by Chanda Kochhar to VIEL, was transferred to M/s Nupower Renewables Pvt. Ltd. (NRPL, earlier known as M/s NuPower Renewables Limited), a company of Deepak Kochhar, by the VIL on September 8, just a day after the disbursal of loan by the ICICI Bank.
“This was the first major capital received by NRL to acquire its first power plant. Chanda Kochhar got illegal gratification/undue benefit through her husband from Dhoot for sanctioning of rupee term loan (RTL) of Rs 300 crore to VIEL,” the agency probe has revealed. The agency alleged that quid pro quo as Dhoot had invested in Deepak’s NuPower through his firm SEPL.
An ED investigation conducted under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) has revealed that Deepak, V.N Dhoot and Saurabh Dhoot were first directors of NRL which was incorporated on December 24, 2008. The Dhoots resigned from the directorship from January 1, 2009.
The anti-money laundering agency is also probing the sources of funds in NRPL to “decipher the money trial, ascertaining further proceeds of crime, determining the role of various other aides who facilitated in the offence of money laundering,”
The ED while detailing Chanda Kochhar’s role has stated that she was one of the members of the sanctioning committee, who is a criminal conspiracy to cheat ICICI bank and in pursuance of criminal conspiracy on August 26, 2009, dishonestly by abusing her official position sanctioned the loan in favour of VIEL.
According to the ED, the investigation had revealed that Chanda Kochhar and her family acquired the apartment at Mumbai owned by a company of the Videocon Group, by way of acquiring that company through her family trust at a nominal price by creating book entries.