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Chanda Kochhar (Mint)
Chanda Kochhar (Mint)

ED conducting searches at Kochhar's homes, Videocon offices

  • The raids are being carried out in five locations in Mumbai and Aurangabad
  • The agency is probing alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of 1,875 crore loans by the ICICI Bank to Videocon

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is carrying out searches at the premises of former CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Industries promoter Venugopal Dhoot in a case of alleged money laundering, said ED officials.

The ED confirmed the developments on its official twitter handle.

Messages sent to Chanda Kochhar, Deepak Kochhar and Venugopal Dhoot for comments were not answered immediately.  

The raids are being carried out in five locations in Mumbai and Aurangabad, which include the Mumbai-based office of Videocon and residences of the Kochhars.

The ED had registered a money laundering case in the matter under Prevention of Money Act (PMLA) in the first week of February based on a Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) case on 22 January.

The agency is probing alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of 1,875 crore loans by the ICICI Bank to Videocon. Out of the this loan, sanctioned in 2012, an amount of 300 crore allegedly was involved in a quid pro quo arrangement. Chanda Kochhar is alleged to have misused her office and received illegal gratification through her husband from Dhoot in the matter of a 300 crore term loan sanctioned to Videocon International Electronics Ltd.

A team of ED sleuths, assisted by the police, is looking for more evidence and the raids were launched early Friday morning, one of the ED officials quoted above said.

It is alleged that Dhoot had invested in Deepak Kochhar's company, Nupower Renewables Ltd, through his firm Supreme Energy a quid pro quo to loans cleared by ICICI Bank after Chanda Kochhar took over as the CEO of the bank on May 1, 2009.

The ED is also coordinating with the income tax department, which is probing the companies involved for alleged tax irregularities

"The income tax department's findings have been shared with us. Requests have also been sent to certain foreign jurisdictions for information assistance. These jurisdictions are where we suspect some of the funds have been routed," said the ED official.

The directorate is also searching the office of Matix Group in connection with the alleged transactions between Firstland Holdings and Deepak Kochhar's Nupower Renewables, he added.

It is alleged that that Nupower received 325 crore from the Mauritius-based Firstland Holdings.

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