Deepak Kochhar arrested by ED due to money laundering claims

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Harsirat Kaur
Harsirat Kaur
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Deepak Kochhar, a businessman and husband of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate. He allegedly tried to gamble money in the ongoing ICICI Bank-Videocon case. The ED has been looking for the culprits for a long time based on the CBI FIR about the loan case. In 2016, Arvind Gupta raised concerns stating that the loan sanctioned by Mrs. Kochhar of Rs. 3,250 crore had irregularities. Following this, in 2018, the police started questioning Chanda Kochhar’s family. After that, the Securities and Exchange Board of India gave a notice to the former CEO to report the details about the loan. In 2019, CBI finally filed a First Information Report against her family. In fact, she also stepped down from her post.

Deepak Kochhar arrested by the ED on accoutn of money laundering
Source: Deccan Herald

The details of the arrest of Deepak Kochhar

On Monday, September 7, 2020, the Enforcement Directorate, India arrested Deepak Kochhar after the final round of questioning. The agency did not reveal why it decided to arrest him. However, the only thing it revealed is that the agency found full proof of evidence against him. The questioning started in full force in 2019. See this tweet in 2019 on a round of questioning.

The arrest followed accordingly after various official regulatory bodies like SEBI, CBI, ED, SFIO, and income tax department conducted parallel investigations.

Information about the loan and the arrest’s implications

The ED is now looking into 24 loans in total amalgamating a sum amount of Rs. 7,862 crore. Chanda Kochhar as the CEO and Managing Director of ICICI Bank sanctioned these loans during her tenure. In short, this is why she and her family came on the straight radar of the claims. The agency believes that the loans had no proper records and had an illegal and criminal motive for the sanction. Videocon group companies took these loans between May 2009 and June 2017. These companies include Videocon Industries Limited and Videocon Hydrocarbons Holding Ltd.

Deepak Kochhar arrested by the ED on accoutn of money laundering
Deepak Kochhar arrested under ICICI Bank-Videocon Case–Source: ANI News

The sections issued against Deepak Kochhar are included in the prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The FIR which CBI filed directly imposed the criminal sections of this Act on him. He will appear in the court on Tuesday where he can present his argument and also seek his custody. However, he will stay in police’s custody till September 19. In fact, this arrest will induce an explanation from him and the ED can get “fresh evidence”. The FIR has not only issued against her family but also against Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot and other prominent business tycoons.

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