With both probe agencies – the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) -- accusing Kochhar of alleged money laundering, receiving illegal gratification, cheating and criminal conspiracy when she was at the helm of affairs at the bank, the spotlight has increasingly been on financial crimes involving top executives of the banking sector.
On Friday, Business Standard newspaper reported that the ED is soon likely to provisionally attach Kochhar’s assets, as part of its investigation. According to the report, the assets are likely to include her South Mumbai apartment, certain shares, and offices of her husband Deepak Kochhar’s companies including Nupower Renewables. The estimated value of the investment is about ₹100 crore, while their market value is around ₹800 crore.
However, persons familiar with the investigation said while the “probe was continuing in the case, any attachment – which the agency would assess in due course – would happen only later."
Kochhar was quizzed multiple times by the ED last year. The agency had also quizzed her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group managing director Venugopal Dhoot in connection with the agency’s ongoing probe in the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case.
In March, last year, the ED carried out searches at the residence of Chanda Kochhar.
In January, last year, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked Kochhar’s husband and Dhoot for criminal conspiracy and cheating.
The CBI had also registered a preliminary enquiry against Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot in March 2018 to investigate irregularities in the ₹40,000-crore loan made by a consortium of lenders to the Videocon group. It also pointed to an alleged conflict of interest in a ₹3,250-crore loan made to the Videocon group by ICICI Bank.