Mumbai: In a major development in the ICICI Bank-Videocon case, former Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot had appointed drivers, gardeners, office boys and other employees as “dummy directors”, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) revealed.
These were appointed to hide ownership, evade tax and launder money, reports say.
In a charge sheet filed last month regarding the ICICI Bank bribery scandal, the ED further went on to mention that these employees had never even heard of the companies in which they were appointed directors. Their statements are now a part of the chargesheet.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the ED charge sheet mentions Nensukhlal Gandhi, a cleaner at Venugopal Dhoot’s bungalow as Director in Indian Refrigerator Company Ltd. The statement read that Gandhi was “neither aware about the company IRCL nor aware about his directorship in IRCL and others. He was also unaware about transactions carried out by the company.
Laxmikant Sudhakar Katore who worked as a gardener in Videocon International also said that he was unaware of his directorship in several companies as well as about 50% shareholding in Real Cleantech Pvt Ltd.
The charge sheet relates to the case that involves transactions between Videocon Group run by Venugopal Dhoot and NuPower Renewables Pvt. Ltd. run by Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar and loans given by ICICI to Videocon Group.
The Kochhars and Dhoot have been summoned and questioned by both ED and CBI multiple times. Searches have been conducted at the premises of the Kochhars as well as Dhoot. ED also registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of ₹ 1,875 cr loans by ICICI Bank to the Videocon group.