The CBI has filed a case against Videocon CMD Venugopal Dhoot for causing wrongful loss to a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India. The agency has alleged irregularities by Videocon Industries Ltd in the acquisition of oil and gas assets in Mozambique in Africa that were later taken over by the State Bank of India-led consortium.
The agency also alleged that public sector banks SBI, IDBI and ICICI paid $705.45 million to Standard Chartered Bank as part of sales proceeds instead of $650 million, which Mr Dhoot owed to the latter.
It is further alleged that although the banks paid this amount in February 2013, they did not take charge of the assets till November 2013, thereby causing a huge loss to the bank and wrongful gains to Videocon during the intervening nine months.
The CBI initiated a preliminary inquiry into this transaction - involving the three banks, the Videocon Group and the Standard Chartered Bank in 2019, based on the documents seized from premises belonging to Mr Dhoot in connection with the ICICI Bank case.
"After the agency found prima facie offence in this matter, a regular case has been registered. Investigation is underway. Venugopal Dhoot will be summoned soon," sources within the CBI said.
Mr Dhoot is also being probed by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate over alleged irregularities, corrupt practices and money laundering in sanctioning of Rs 1,875 crore in loans by ICICI Bank.
A criminal case was filed early last year by the CBI, followed by another by the ED, under with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
This action was based on a complaint registered by the CBI, which had named Mr Dhoot, his companies (Videocon International Electronics Ltd and Videocon Industries Limited), as well as former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar.
NuPower Renewables, a company controlled by Mr Kochhar, had also been named, with the CBI alleging Mr Dhoot invested in this company through another - Supreme Energy - in a quid pro quo deal via loans cleared by ICICI after Ms Kochhar took over in May 2009.
These loans were declared non-performing assets in 2012, thereby causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank, the CBI further alleged.