After last week’s raids on the office premises and residences of Chanda Kochhar and persons connected with her, The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the violation of anti-money laundering laws in the ₹ 3,250 crore ICICI Videocon case has established that funds amounting to ₹ 389 crore were received as kick-backs by Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar; with one leading financial newspaper claiming the figure is more in the range of ₹ 500 crore being received as kick back.
The central agency has zeroed in on two instances of alleged quid pro quo.
The first pertains to transactions between Videocon (promoted by Venugopal Dhoot) and NuPower Renewables (promoted by Deepak Kochhar – Chanda Kochhar’s husband). A day after a term loan of ₹ 300 crore was transferred by ICICI Bank to the Videocon group, ₹ 64 crore was transferred by Dhoot to NuPower through his other company Supreme Energy.
The second transaction was between NuPower and Firstland Holdings, a firm promoted by Nishant Kanodia, who is the son-in-law of Essar Group vice chairman Ravi Ruia. The Essar Group had received loans from ICICI Bank and then invested ₹ 163 crore in Firstland Holdings, which in turn invested ₹ 324.37 crore in NuPower between December 2010 and March 2012, which constituted the kickback.
Sources have stated that the ED would soon seize the Kochhar family’s assets created out of the proceeds of crime. Further, the ED is also planning to question the top brass who were formerly part of the credit committee responsible for sanctioning these loans which were subsequently declared as NPA. These include the likes of KV Kamath, Sandeep Bakhshi, Zarin Daruwala, Rajiv Sabharwal etc.