Enforcement Directorate Attaches Rs 78-Crore Worth Assets Of Ex-ICICI Chairman Chanda Kochhar, Others
Assets worth over Rs 78 crore of former ICICI Bank Ltd. Chairman Chanda Kochhar, including her Rs 3.5 crore flat in Mumbai, and her family have been attached by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money-laundering probe against them, the agency said on Friday.
A provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act has been issued for attachment of properties like flat, land, and plant and machinery of a wind farm project based in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. These assets, the ED said in a statement, are “in possession” of Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and the companies owned and controlled by him.
While the book value of these assets is Rs 78.15 crore, officials said their market value is about Rs 600 crore.
The ED had slapped money laundering charges against the Kochhars and their business entities in January last year for “illegal sanctioning of loans amounting to Rs 1,875 crore to the Videocon Group of companies.” This was after the ED studied a Central Bureau of Investigation FIR against the Kochhars and carried out raids.
The probe found that an amount of Rs 64 crore, out of the loan amount of Rs 300 crore sanctioned by a committee headed by Chanda Kochhar to Videocon International Electronics Limited, was transferred to Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd by Videocon Industries Limited on Sept. 8, 2009, just a day after disbursement of loan by ICICI Bank. NRPL, earlier known as NuPower Renewables Limited, is a company of Deepak Kochhar.
Besides, it alleged, “net revenue of Rs 10.65 crore was generated by NRL from these tainted funds”.
“Therefore, proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 74.65 crore were transferred to or to say generated in NRPL,” the ED said.
The federal investigation agency charged that Chanda Kochhar and her family “acquired” an apartment at Mumbai (in which they live) owned by one of the Videocon Group companies by way of “acquiring that company through her family trust at a nominal price and by creating book entries”. The Kochhar couple have been grilled by the ED multiple times in the past.