Meanwhile, the agency has allowed his brother Deepak Kochhar’s request to make a personal appearance on May 11. The ED, which had earlier summoned Deepak on April 30 and Chanda on May 10 for questioning, will now interrogate the couple on May 11, sources in the know told ET.
Rajiv has been asked to join the probe after the agency recently received an anonymous letter, which claimed that advisory (consultancy) fees for the restructuring or arranging of loans received by his Singapore-incorporated firms — Avista Advisory Partners and Avista Holdings — from various corporate promoters were actually kickbacks for the loans granted by ICICI Bank, when Chanda was at its helm.
“…Anyone can guess as to why these promoters were still paying Avista good amounts of money offshore for so-called advisory activities, whereas in India, the same promoters and companies could not even service their loans to ICICI Bank and other banks and were evergreening these loans by drawing down on additional loans from ICICI and other PSU banks,” the whistleblower’s letter accessed by ET read. An email sent to Rajiv Kochhar did not elicit a response.
The ED is probing a money-laundering case against Chanda and her husband Deepak. The central agency has zeroed in on two instances of alleged quid pro quo. The first instance allegedly pertains to transactions between Videocon and NuPower Renewables (NRL).
According to sources, a day after a term loan of Rs 300 crore was sanctioned by ICICI Bank, an amount of Rs 64 crore was transferred by Videocon’s Venugopal Dhoot to NRL through his company Supreme Energy (SEPL).
The second is a similar transaction between NRL and businessman Nishant Kanodia’s Firstland Holdings.
According to sources, Essar Group had invested Rs 163 crore in Firstland, which, in turn, invested Rs 324.37 crore in NRL between December 2010 and March 2012.
Separately, in August 2015, Essar Projects India had invested another Rs 250 crore in the cumulative redeemable preference shares of Matix. Kanodia is the son-in-law of Essar Group vice chairman Ravi Ruia.