As the Enforcement Directorate on Monday arrested Deepak Kochhar, husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, in connection with the ICICI Bank loan case, the probe by the ED has shown serious money laundering and wrongdoing by the NuPower CEO.
On Monday, Deepak Kochhar was arrested by the Mumbai branch of the financial probe agency. During the investigation, it was revealed that loans were refinanced and new loans aggregating to Rs 1,730 crore sanctioned to Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL) and its group companies and these loans became non-performing assets (NPA) for ICICI Bank on June 30, 2017.
The investigation further revealed that an amount of Rs 64 crore, out of the loan of Rs 300 crore sanctioned by a committee headed by Chanda Kochhar to Videocon International Electronics Ltd, was transferred to Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL, earlier known as NuPower Renewables Ltd, a company of Deepak Kochhar) by VIL on September 8, 2009, just one day after disbursement of loan by the ICICI Bank.
Further, net revenue of Rs 10.65 crore was generated by NRL from these tainted funds. Therefore, proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 74.65 crore were transferred to/generated in NRPL. The investigation also revealed that Chanda Kochhar and her family acquired an apartment in Mumbai owned by one of the Videocon group companies, by way of acquiring that company through her family trust at a nominal price by creating book entries.
Accordingly, assets amounting to Rs 74.54 crore held in the name of Nupower Renewables Pvt Ltd, its subsidiaries, the flat located at Mumbai (book value of Rs 3.5 crore), and the amount of Rs 10.5 lakh already seized by ED from the company of Deepak Kochhar, totaling to Rs 78.15 crore being proceeds of crime have been provisionally attached by ED under PMLA.
A top ED official told IANS, “Deepak Kochhar has been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after day-long questioning.” The action comes almost a year after the ED filed a money laundering case last year on the basis of a complaint registered by the CBI against Videocon Director Venugopal Dhoot, his companies (Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Ltd), as well as former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak.
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.
Deepak Virendra Kochhar is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of NuPower Renewables which was set up in December 2008. NuPower Renewables was started as a joint venture between Videocon Group’s Venugopal Dhoot family and the Kochhar and Advani families. Mahesh Advani is the brother of Chanda Kochhar. When the company was established, Chanda Kochhar was the CFO and Joint MD at ICICI Bank.
Before the setting up of NuPower, Deepak was a financial services entrepreneur. He has been a Director of NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd since December 24, 2008. He studied Masters in Finance from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Bombay University. And during his studies at Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, he met Chanda Advani (Chanda Kochhar’s maiden name).
Deepak is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School – Graduate of the Advanced Management Program (AMP). There is not much about him in the public domain dating before 2008 other than his company Pacific Capital Services Private Limited. The Pacific Capital Services has then owned 90 percent by Neelam Advani, wife of Mahesh Advani, and 10 percent by Virendra Kochhar, Deepak’s father.