ED arrests Chanda Kochhar`s husband Deepak Kochhar in money laundering case



Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday arrested Deepak Kochhar in connection with a money-laundering case registered almost a year and half ago against the businessman and his wife, former ICICI Bank chief executive Chanda Kochhar.

Earlier this year, the ED provisionally attached Rs 78.15 crore worth movable and immovable assets in possession of ICICI Bank's former Managing Director and CEO, her husband and the companies owned/controlled by him. Kochhar was questioned since Monday afternoon before he was arrested at night, according to NDTV.

A provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was issued for attachment of properties.

Kochhar will be taken to an anti-money laundering court on Tuesday, the news agency said.

Officials said Deepak Kochhar was placed under arrest as the agency wants to put him under custodial interrogation to obtain more details about some fresh evidence gathered in this case, that was filed under the criminal sections of the anti-money laundering law in January a year ago. The ED had filed a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) early previous year against Chanda and Deepak Kochhar, and Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon Group to investigate alleged irregularities and money laundering in sanctioning six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore by the ICICI Bank.

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The ICICI-Videocon case pertains to an alleged misappropriation cited in loans given by the ICICI Bank to Videocon. NRPL was earlier known as NuPower Renewables Limited (NRL) and is a company of Deepak Kochhar. While the book value of these assets is Rs 78.15 crore, the market value is about Rs 600 crore, officials had said.

The CBI has alleged that Mr Dhoot invested in NuPower through another company - Supreme Energy - in a quid pro quo deal via loans cleared by ICICI after Ms Kochhar took over as CEO in May 2009.

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. The complaint linked this to a Rs 300 crore loan issued by the bank to Videocon.

In his letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi among others, Gupta had accused Kochhars of 'amassing wrongful personal gains by deceiving stakeholders, shareholders, public / private sector banks and Indian Regulatory Agencies for unjust and illegal enrichment through corrupt banking practices within India and tax heavens by a high level CBI/ED/SFIO/SEBI/the RBI team to ensure healthy private sector Banking'.

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