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ED receives fresh whistle-blower letter implicating Deepak & Rajiv Kochhar

ED receives fresh whistle-blower letter implicating Deepak & Rajiv Kochhar

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has received a fresh whistleblower letter pertaining to the Rs 3,250 crore ICICI Bank loan fraud case, in which Chanda Kochhar, former chairperson of the private lender was implicated along with her husband Deepak Kochhar, official sources here said.

The new letter goes on to accuse Deepak Kochhar and his brother Rajiv Kochhar of receiving kickbacks from firms for loans illegally sanctioned to them by ICICI Bank under Chanda's leadership.

The letter has reportedly been sent by a Singapore-based whistleblower to investigative agencies probing the case in India and Singapore.

The loan fraud case is also being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which registered an FIR in the case earlier in January this year, naming both Chanda and Deepak.

But, the investigative agency did not name Deepak's borther Rajiv Kochhar as an accused in the case.

A highly-placed source in the ED said that most of the allegations in the new whistleblower letter are ones the agency is already aware of. "There are, however, some new allegations that we are looking into but cannot provide details on," he added.

The letter also names some firms that allegedly paid kickbacks to companies controlled and operated by the Kochhar brothers in Singapore and the Cayman Islands.

These include Jaiprakash Group, Sterling Group, Suzlon, and Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd (BPSL).

According to a CBI FIR against BPSL, the steel manufacturer had taken loans of Rs 586.6 crore from ICICI Bank between 2007 and 2014.

Chanda was the head of ICICI Bank from 2009 and is also being probed by CBI for her role in getting loans of Rs 3,250 crore sanctioned for companies of the Videocon Group between 2009 and 2012, in exchange for kickbacks received through her husband's companies.

According to the FIR, the first of these kickbacks, Rs 64 crore was received by Deepak Kochhar's Nupower Renewables Ltd (NRL) the day after a loan of Rs 300 crore was disbursed to Videocon International Electronic Ltd (VIEL) through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd, also controlled by Deepak.

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