Chanda Kochhar Money Trail-III: When obfuscation becomes the signature move
What happens when you bring the fox to guard the henhouse? By structuring a convoluted and intricate matrix of entities - three of them actually - to obfuscate and throw the scent off for future investigators, the Kochhar brothers forgot one simple thing: that paper trails cannot be hidden anymore due to the data mining and compliance work done by ministry of corporate affairs (MCA). Fraud and shellcos or suitcase companies always leave a trail of paper. And so it was with the Kochhars.
 
The trace-back begins with Modern Fashions, which was one of the principal sha­reholders in the two Kochhar Brothers Credential twins, along with ABS Components Pvt Ltd and KG Computers Pvt Ltd which were the other two. ABS, like Modern a shellco, the last return for which was filed in 2005. Like Modern Fashions, it became a victim of DeMo and was struck off post the cash cull exercise by Registrar of Companies (RoC).
 
Credential Finance Ltd's or CFL 1, as IANS has been reporting as part of an investigative series on the Kochhar family, balance sheet on September 30, 2000 shows it made an investment of Rs 1.25 crore in preference shares and Rs 98.13 lakh in equity shares of CFL, which amounts to Rs 2.23 crore invested in CFL. ABS was incorporated by Rajiv Gupta and Rajiv Garg in Delhi on May 19, 1998 with Rs 1,000 as capital. Its registered office was shown like Modern Fashions as B 33, SFS Houses, Sheikh Sarai 1, New Delhi-17.
 
Sometime in 1994, the ownership changed hands to Kochhars. This incidentally is the same year that Chanda Kochhar was elevated to AGM of ICICI Ltd. Majority shareholding of ABS was held by Rajiv Kochhar, 275,100 equity shares of Rs 10 each while balance 275,100 shares are shown as held by Kochhars family/relative. 
 
The jiggery-pokery begins here. Form 20 B filed on April 13, 2006 with RoC for 2004-05 shows that authorised capital is Rs 75 lakh and paid up capital is Rs 55.01 lakh. In April 2006, the only time this company filed its return (online) for two successive years 2003-04 and 2004-05, it declared that its paid up capital was Rs 91.61 lakh which was more than its authorised capital of Rs 75 lakh. Post DeMo, it was struck off at serial number 366, out of a total of 24,945 companies that were knocked out by RoC Delhi on September 1, 2017.
 
Now, we come to the registered office address which again shows discrepancy and divergence. Physical scanned copy of Form 18 shows that with effect from March 20, 2006, ABS R.O. address was changed from 24, School Lane, Opposite Holiday Inn, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi-1, to UB 5 Arunachal Bhawan, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi-1 like Modern Fashions. 
 
IANS visited the address (see pic) and found that this address actually doesn't exist, UB 4 and 7 exist, but UB 5 doesn't, so it clearly means that this address is fictitious, making it a complete suitcase or shellco. Here again, Form 18 filled online gives Sheikh Sarai as the address.
 
KG Computers Pvt Ltd
This company, another shareholder/investor in CFL, was struck off post-DeMo. CFL balancesheet shows that KG Computers made an investment of Rs 8.75 lakh in preference shares and Rs 45.60 lakh in equity shares, making the total investment of Rs 54.35 lakh.
 
KG was incorporated by Rajinder Kumar Garg and Amit Gupta in Delhi on May 19, 1988 with Rs 1,000 capital. Its registered office is shown as Sheikh Sarai, the same as Modern and ABS. The company changes hands in 1994 with the Kochhars stepping in. 
 
Credential Holdings Pvt Ltd, a company incorporated by Rajiv and Deepak Kochhar on September 8, 1994 for Rs 200, owns the majority shareholding in KG Computers.
 
If you think following this Byzantine paper trail is mind-boggling, actually the tent poles and DNA of each are very much similar. Modern, ABS and KG are all shellcos, created for the purpose of obfuscation. KG was struck off at serial number 10,450 out of a total of 24,945 companies that were pole axed by RoC, Delhi on September 1, 2017. KG Computers like its two companions also shows UB 5 Arunachal Bhawan Barakhamba Road, New Delhi-1 as its address. Something that doesn't exist and photographs don't lie.
 
Credential Holdings 
 
Over and above CFL 1 and CFL 2, there is Credential Holdings Pvt Ltd (U67120MH1994PTC080991) with an authorised capital of Rs 5 lakh and a paid up capital of about Rs 1 lakh. The annual return of CFL shows that CHPL had invested Rs 1.25 crore in preference shares and Rs 84.97 lakh in equity shares. Which totals about Rs 2.30 crore from Credential Holdings (CHPL) into CFL. CHPL was incorporated on September 8, 1994 by Deepak and Rajiv Kochhar again with an investment of Rs 200. 
 
Both have shown identical addresses and describe themselves as business executive. In the master data base of MCA, this company remains - active - with its registered office shown as G/8 Maker Chambers V, Mumbai-21.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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COMMENTS

Deepak Narain

1 week ago

All fraudulent. These people deserve to be punished. They should be arrested without bail.

ED Questions Kochhars in ICICI-Videocon Case
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday questioned former ICICI Bank CEO (chief executive officer) Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in an ongoing probe into the alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in the sanctioning of a Rs 1,875 crore loan by the bank to the Videocon Group.
 
They appeared before the ED headquarters here at around 10.30 a.m. following the agency's summons. 
 
The couple's questioning began soon after they deposed before the investigators. 
 
The case is related to the alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in the sanction of a Rs 1,875 crore loan disbursed by ICICI Bank to the Videocon Group during 2009 and 2011. The ED got clues about an illegal transaction running to crores of rupees routed to NuPower, a company run by Deepak Kochhar.
 
The Kochhars were questioned on many occasions last month in Mumbai. This is their first appearance before the ED in Delhi. 
 
In March, the ED had conducted a series of searches at the residence and office premises of Kochhars as part of its investigations and also questioned them along with Videocon Group promoter Venugopal Dhoot.
 
Allegedly, Dhoot had invested in NuPower Renewables Ltd through his firm Supreme Energy as quid-pro-quo for loans cleared by the ICICI Bank under Chanda Kochhar.
 
Out of the Rs 40,000 crore loan to the Videocon group, Rs 3,250 crore was given by ICICI Bank and a large portion of the loan by ICICI was unpaid at the end of 2017. 
 
The bank proceeded to declare the Rs 2,810 crore of unpaid loan as non-performing asset.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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Ramesh Bajaj

1 week ago

In such a scenario, all have access to top (read: Expensive lawyers ) to fight their battles .
It will be never ending.

Chanda Kochhar Money Trail-II: How credence became victim of truth, byword for fraud
At the very core of the Chanda Kochhar family enterprise or La Familia remain two similar named companies which beg numerous questions. While the construct of NuPower Renewables came into being much later, IANS has now pieced together the etymology of the Kochhar-Advani enterprise. For them, from the very beginning it was all about credence, convoluted and flawed. And then of course the triangle remains incomplete without the emergence of the ubiquitous Videocon and Venugopal Dhoot.
 
The first Credential Finance Ltd (CFL) was birthed on January 23, 1985 as Bloomfield Builders & Construction at Mumbai RoC (Registrar of Companies) with registration No. 035149. By 1994, it fell into the hands of the Kochhars, who renamed it Credential Finance Ltd. 
 
The second CFL (no, these aren't bulbs) was birthed on March 18, 1992 as Vilkin Finance Pvt Ltd again registered at RoC Mumbai with registration No. 065966. On June 13, 1993, the name was changed to Credential Investments & Finance Ltd and finally to Credential Finance Ltd on September 27, 1994 (CFL 2).
 
The first Credential's entry in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs data base shows authorised capital of Rs 15 crore, paid up capital of Rs 10.95 crore against which there is an outstanding loan of Rs 2.25 crore. However, documents filed online under various heads show a loan of Rs 8.20 crore from two banks -- on August 31, 1996 a loan of Rs 4.70 crore @ 20 per cent per annum from SBI Home Finance, Kolkata, and on July 24, 1997, a loan of Rs 3.50 crore @ RBI rate + margin from IndusInd Bank, Mumbai. All the loan documents were presented by Deepak Kochhar before the banks and have his signatures. In the SBI Home Finance loan, the signatures are of the Videocon International Managing Director. 
 
The second Credential's entry on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs data base shows that its authorised capital is Rs 5 lakh, paid up capital is nil and it is under liquidation. Though it does have Rs 26 crore as outstanding loans.
 
Now, once again we come to the Videocon connection with both these entities. Videocon's Venugopal Dhoot has been denying any business association with the Kochhars and his connection with NuPower has been proved conclusively.
 
In Credential Finance (CFL1), Videocon International has the highest number of preference shares (of Rs 100 each) listed against its name as of March 31, 2000. Of the total preference shares of 532,250, Videocon International held 150,000, various Kochhar family members -- Deepak, Rajiv, his wife Monika, Chanda, Vinodini (mother of Deepak & Rajiv), Virendra (father of Deepak & Rajiv) and Aarti Kochhar -- held 898, 747, 625, 473, 3, 2, 2, respectively. Furthermore, it is alleged that Kochhar shell companies ABS Components, Modern Fashions and KG Computers owned 125,000 shares, 120,000 shares and 8,750 shares, respectively.
 
In Credential Finance (CFL 2), the total number of shares from March 31, 2000 to September 30, 2014 are 5,634,500. As of September 30, 2014, the total number of equity shares of Rs 10 each were in the names of Credential Holdings (849,700), Deepak Kochhar (30,385), Chanda Kochhar (2,835), Monica Kochhar (3,750), Videocon International (1,000,000), Rajiv Kochhar (29,985); shell companies Modern Fashions Pvt Ltd (374,300), ABS Components Pvt Ltd (981,250), KG Computers Pvt Ltd (456,000), other Chanda Kochhar family members Mahesh Advani (20,420), Neelam Advani (20,420), long time Videocon employee S.K. Shelgikar (59,700), Vinodini Kochhar and Virendra Kochhar (15 shares each).
 
Pertinently, several unnamed "well-wishers" paid off the dues of Credential Finance - a now defunct company that was once run by Chanda Kochhar's husband and brother-in-law. In March 2009, the company in which Chanda Kochhar too was once a shareholder, entered into court settlement with multiple creditors. 
 
According to the minutes of the Bombay High Court order, in at least one of the cases, Rs 40 lakh was paid to Banque Indo-Suez (now known as Calyon Bank) by the "well-wishers of and on behalf of" Credential Finance. As luck would have it, the directors of the company also changed more or less overnight. The settlements with the different creditors also brought to close an earlier contempt proceedings against Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar and former Managing Director of Credential. The dues were paid in tranches initiating with pay orders issued by the ICICI Bank. However, the bank did not reveal the identity of the drawer or purchaser of the pay order due to rules of client confidentiality.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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Ramesh Poapt

1 week ago

chand mein daag. not full eclipse?

Ramesh Bajaj

1 week ago

Hats off to all for digging out so much information.
Can anyone Hazzard a guess: " How will all this end and what will all this lead to?"

We are listening!

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