The Enforcement Directorate on Monday arrested Deepak Kochhar, former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband in connection with a money laundering case.
According to reports, the ED had questioned in a case of alleged irregularities and money laundering in giving bank loans to the Videocon group.
The financial probe agency had also attached assets worth Rs 78 crore owned by Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and the companies under the ownership and direct control of him.
What’s Rs 3,250 crore ICICI Scam?
The matter had first surfaced after a whistle-blower, Arvind Gupta, demanded an appropriate investigation into ‘illicit banking and commercial relationship between Videocon Group of Venugopal Dhoot and ICICI Bank’s MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar’s family-owned NuPower Renewable Group steered by her husband Deepak Kochhar.’
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.’
According to the complaint, Dhoot provided Rs 64 crore to Chanda Kochhar’s husband Rs 64 crore in 2010 through a fully-owned entity to NRPL, which he had set up with Deepak Kochhar and two of his relatives. Dhoot then allegedly transferred proprietorship of the company to a trust owned by Deepak Kochhar for Rs 9 lakh, six months after he received the loan of Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank.
You can read the full letter here. Gupta had also informed the then Finance Minister late Arun Jaitley about it. ICICI bank had rejected the charges calling it “malicious and unfounded.”
In 2018, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had served notices to ICICI bank and the then CEO Chanda Kochhar asking their responses on alleged non-compliance of the “erstwhile ‘Listing Agreement’ and the ‘Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015′”.
Kochhar was also summoned by the anti-fraud agency, SFIO, in a bank fraud case related to over Rs 5,000 crore loan extended to diamond merchant Mehul Choksi.