The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday attached assets and cash belonging to former ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in connection with the Videocon loan case.
The assets include her South Mumbai apartment at CCI Chambers, valued at Rs 3.5 crore (book value) along with assets of projects of Deepak Kochhar’s Nupower Renewables and its subsidiaries such as Wind Farms, Echanda Urja Private worth Rs 74 crore (book value). Besides, a cash amount Rs 10.5 lakh, which the ED had seized during the search operation from the premises of Pacific Capital Services, another company of Deepak Kochhar.
The total book value of these assets attached is to the tune of Rs 78 crore, however, the market value is believed to be higher at around Rs 800 crore. "Some more assets are in pipeline, which we are evaluating. While the attached assets valuation is underway," said an ED source.
Business Standard was first to report this on January 9.
The federal agency has issued provisional attachment order of proceeds of crime under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which will be valid for 180 days until the court confirms it and allows the ED to make a final confiscation on the ground that the said assets were created out of proceeds of money laundering.
The acquisition of the current family residence of Kochhar at South Mumbai is quite complex involving Deepak Kochhar and firms linked to Videocon group. "Flat no 45, CCI chambers held in the books of Quality Techno Advisors Private (QTAPL) and the share certificate is in possession of Chanda Kochhar and her family," ED pointed out in the attachment order.
Interestingly, this South Mumbai apartment was owned by an entity QTAPL of the Videocon group between 2009 and 2016. During this period, no rent was paid and no consideration was given for such residence.
Further, the apartment seems to have been transferred in 2009 to the Videocon group presumably to satisfy a liability of Deepak Kochhar or his business Credential Finance Limited (CFL), owed to Videocon group. It was subsequently re-acquired by Deepak Kochhar (indirectly by the family Trust acquiring 100 per cent of QTAPL which owned the house) for nominal consideration.
The said transactions, rent-free residence at the apartment and the transfer of the apartment for nominal consideration, were in arrangement with a borrower group (Videocon) of the ICICI Bank for inadequate or no consideration.