ED Questions Industrialist Venugopal Dhoot In ICICI Bank-Videocon Loan Case

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ED Questions Industrialist Venugopal Dhoot In ICICI Bank-Videocon Loan Case
ED Questions Industrialist Venugopal Dhoot In ICICI Bank-Videocon Loan Case

New Delhi [India]: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday questioned the Chairman of Videocon Industries Venugopal Dhoot in relation to the Rs 1,875-crore ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case, sources said.

Dhoot reached the ED headquarters in the morning and was deposed before the investigating officer.

In March 2019, the Enforcement Directorate also questioned Dhoot along with Mahesh Pungalia, a director of NuPower Renewables and a close aide of Dhoot, in the case.

The ED in February 2019 had also conducted searches at the residences and offices of Dhoot, former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in relation to the case.

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.

In February 2019, the ED registered a criminal case of money laundering against Dhoot, Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak, and others and initiated a probe into alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of loans worth Rs 1,875 crore by the bank to the corporate group.

ED’s Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act is based on the First Information Report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2019.

The agency is probing whether “the alleged kickbacks generated in the loan deal were laundered to create tainted assets”.

It is alleged that Dhoot had invested in Nupower Renewables through his firm Supreme Energy in a quid pro quo for loans cleared by ICICI Bank after Chanda Kochhar took over as the CEO of the bank on May 1, 2009. It suspects that the ownership of Nupower and Supreme Energy changed hands through a complex web of shared transactions between Deepak Kochhar and Dhoot.

During its preliminary enquiry, the CBI found six loans worth Rs 1,875 crore were sanctioned to the Videocon Group and companies associated with it between June 2009 and October 2011 in an alleged violation of laid-down policies of ICICI Bank, which are part of the probe.

The agency has said that the loans were declared non-performing assets in 2012, causing a loss of Rs 1,730 crore to the bank.

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