Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday, filed a case against Videocon group’s Managing Director Venugopal Dhoot in a corruption case of causing wrongful loss to Indian PSU banks consortium led by State Bank of India. The agency has named Venugopal’s companies, ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kocchar and her husband, and the other officials in the complaint too.
CBI has filed the case after a preliminary enquiry alleging that there are several irregularities on the part of Dhoot’s Videocon Industries in the acquisition of oil and gas assets in Mozambique in Africa. The agency has also alleged the group of practicing corruption, cheating, and criminal conspiracy to dupe the banks.
“The enquiry revealed that in April 2012, the consortium of banks led by SBI sanctioned the standby letter of credit of facility of USD 2773.60 million to VHHL for appraisal and development of their overseas oil and gas asset in Mozambique, Brazil & Indonesia and other funding requirements in relation to the said oil and gas asset and for refinancing the existing facilities,” said a CBI official.
In February 2012, Videocon Industries Limited has informed the SBI led a consortium of banks that the loan amount has increased to $530 million from $400 million which the bank has to payoff and also asked the consortium to take over the charge of the assets.
But the enquiry reveals that the PSU banks consortium including SBI, IDBI, and ICICI had paid $705.45 million to London based Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) instead of $650 million which Benugopal owed to it.
The complaint also mentioned that the amount was paid in February 2013 while banks had taken over the charges from November 2013. Therefore causing a huge loss to the banks and wrongful profits to the Videocon group.
The preliminary enquiry by CBI is based on the Venugopal’s connection to the ICICI bank case and seizing the transaction documents of Videcon group, three PSU banks, and Standard Chartered Bank in 2019.
“After the agency found prima facie offense in this matter, a regular case has been registered. Investigation is underway. Venugopal Dhoot will be summoned soon,” said the CBI sources.
CBI and Enforcement Directorate had also been probing Venugopal Dhoot alleged of alleged irregularities, corrupt practices, and money laundering in connection to the loan sanctioned by ICICI Bank worth 1,875 crores. Last year, CBI has filed a criminal complaint against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act followed by another complaint by ED.