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.