The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, over money laundering allegations in the ICICI Bank-Videocon case. Earlier today, he was called for questioning at the ED office in Delhi.
The probe agency is investigating alleged malpractices in sanctioning of loans worth Rs 1,875 crore by ICICI Bank to Venugopal Dhoot's Videocon Group in 2017. Chanda Kochhar was the head of the private sector lender when the loans were extended to Dhoot's company. It has been alleged that Deepak Kochhar's companies received kickbacks from Videocon in lieu of loans extended by ICICI Bank.
The ED has filed a case in this regard under Prevention of Money Laundering Act based on a complaint by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The central agency had named Chanda and Deepak Kochhar, Venugopal Dhoot and three companies - two under the Videocon Group and Deepak's NuPower Renewables - in the case.
The CBI had alleged that Dhoot invested in NuPower Renewables via his company Supreme Energy as quid pro quo against loans sanctioned by ICICI Bank to Videocon Group. The CBI had found that six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were extended to Dhoot's company between 2009 and 2011. These loans turned non-performing assets in 2012, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank.
Who is Deepak Kochhar?
Deepak Kochhar is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of NuPower Renewables which was set up in December 2008. NuPower Renewables was originally founded as a 50-50 JV between Videocon Group's Venugopal Dhoot family and Kochhar and Advani families (Chanda Kochhar's brother, Mahesh Advani). Around that time Chanda Kochhar was the CFO and Joint MD at ICICI Bank.
Kochhar was a financial services entrepreneur before he co-founded NuPower. He has been a Director of NuPower Renewables Pvt. Ltd. since December 24, 2008. Very little is known about him before 2008 except his company Pacific Capital Services Private Limited. Back then, Neelam Advani, wife of Chanda Kochhar's brother Mahesh Advani, owned 90 per cent stake in the company, while Virendra Kochhar, Deepak's father, owned 10 per cent stake. Deepak Kochhar is also the managing trustee of Pinnacle Energy.