ED summons Chanda Kochchar, husband in money laundering case

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochchar, her husband Deepak Kochchar and brother-in-law Rajiv Kochchar for questioning in a money-laundering case.

The agency has summoned Deepak and Rajiv Kochchar on April 30 while the former ICICI Bank chief has been summoned on May 5, news agency IANS reported.

The ED first questioned Chanda Kochhar on March 1 at her south Mumbai residence along with her husband. This questioning went on for over four days.

The agency, at the time, also quizzed Nishant Kanodia, chairman of Matix Group and son-in-law of Essar Group co-founder Ravi Ruia, regarding investments made by his Mauritius-based firm Firstland Holdings in NuPower Renewables a company run by Deepak Kochhar.

The case is related to the alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in the sanction of a Rs 1,875 crore loan disbursed by ICICI Bank to the Videocon Group during 2009 and 2011. The ED got clues about an illegal transaction running to crores of rupees routed to NuPower.

In March, EDA had conducted a series of searches at the residence and office premises of Kochhars as part of its investigations and also questioned Chanda and Deepak Kochhar along with Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot.

Allegedly, Videocon group’s promoter Venugopal Dhoot had invested in the Deepak Kochhar company, NuPower Renewables Ltd through his firm Supreme Energy as quid-pro-quo for loans cleared by the ICICI Bank under Chanda Kochhar.

Out of the Rs 40,000 crore loan to the Videocon group, Rs 3,250 crore was given by ICICI Bank and a large portion of the loan by ICICI was unpaid at the end of 2017. The bank proceeded to declare the Rs 2,810 crore of unpaid loan as non-performing asset.

According to various sources, the agency also wrote to investigative authorities in Singapore, Hong Kong on Chanda Kochhar quid pro quo case. The ED has sought the bank account details along with list of assets by Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Rajiv Kochhar. ED also suspects that more family members of Chanda Kochhar are involved in money laundering via offshore structures. 

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