ED Attaches Rs 78 Cr Assets of Former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar in Money Laundering Case

News18.com
In January, the CBI had lodged an FIR against 57-year-old Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Managing Director VN Dhoot besides four companies in connection with the controversial loan case.

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday attached the properties of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her family in connection with a money laundering case.

A provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been issued for attachment of the properties that includes Kochhar's Mumbai-based house and some other assets belonging to a company linked to her. The book value of the attached assets is Rs 78 crore, they said.

The ED registered a criminal case under the PMLA last year against Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar, Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot and others to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning Rs 1,875-crore of loans by ICICI Bank to the corporate group.

This action of the agency was based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The CBI has named all the three and Dhoot's companies Videocon International Electronics Ltd (VIEL) and Videocon Industries Limited (VIL) in its case.

The anti-corruption probe agency also named Supreme Energy, a company founded by Dhoot, and NuPower Renewables, a company controlled by Deepak Kochhar, in the FIR.

The CBI alleged that Dhoot had invested in Nupower through his firm Supreme Energy in a quid pro quo to loans cleared by ICICI Bank after Chanda Kochhar took over as the bank's CEO on May 1, 2009.

The ownership of Nupower and Supreme Energy changed hands through a complex web of shared transactions between Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot, the CBI alleged.

During its preliminary enquiry, the CBI found that six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were sanctioned to the Videocon Group and companies associated with it between June 2009 and October 2011 in alleged violation of laid-down policies of ICICI Bank, which have now become part of the probe.

The loans were declared non-performing assets in 2012, causing a loss ofRs 1,730 crore to the bank, it alleged.

The ED, sources said, is also probing at least two other instances of loans given by the ICICI Bank (during Chanda Kochhar's tenure) to Gujarat-based pharmaceutical firm Sterling Biotech and to Bhushan Steel group, both of which are under its probe for alleged money laundering charges.