The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot from Mumbai more than three years after booking him in an FIR for his alleged involvement in an ICICI bank fraud case. Dhoot was remanded to three days of CBI custody by a special court in Mumbai, said sources.
The business tycoon’s arrest came days after the agency picked up former ICICI bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar. The CBI charged that the bank, with Kochhar at the helm, sanctioned ₹1,875 crore loan to the Videocon Group in violation of the lending policies. This was allegedly in lieu of ₹64 crore bribe Dhoot paid but shown as an investment by the group owner in a business headed by Kochhar’s husband Deepak.
The CBI had also charged that Deepak Kochhar was assisted by a co-accused to acquire ownership of NuPower Renewables Ltd (NRL). In early 2019, the agency registered a case against the Kochhar couple and Venugopal, and also made companies such as NuPower Supreme Energy, Videocon International Electronics and Videocon Industries party to the crime committed to launder bank loan money.
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In the preliminary enquiry (PE), which is a prelude to the lodging of FIR, registered in March 2018, the agency said it was probing irregularities in the disbursement of a ₹40,000 crore loan by a consortium of lenders to Videocon Group. The CBI discovered that six loans worth ₹1,875 crore were sanctioned to Videocon Group and its associated companies between June 2009 to October 2011 in violation of ICICI Bank’s lending policies.
The loans were later declared non-performing assets in 2012 leading to a loss of ₹1,730 crore to the ICICI Bank, said the CBI.
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