After Chanda and Deepak Kochhar, CBI arrests Videocon's Dhoot in ICICI Bank loan fraud case
- EP News Service
- Dec 26, 2022
MUMBAI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the ICICI Bank loan fraud case today formally arrested Venugopal Dhoot founder and chief promoter of the Videocon Grop.
The agency has already arrested ICICI Bank's former CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her businessman husband Deepak Kochhar last Friday 23, December in connection with alleged cheating and irregularities in loans sanctioned by the bank to Dhoot-owned Videocon Group companies who are currently in their custody.
The fraud case pertains to causing loss to ICICI bank for loans sanctioned to Dhoot and his companies to the tune of Rs 1,870 crore between 2009 and 2011 when Ms Kochhar was heading the bank and as a quid pro quo received kickbacks and illegal gratifications through her husband Deepak.
The agency has alleged that Dhoot has changed his version several times in the past and despite being given many changes, he has not given full disclosures and facts in the case, thus his custody was required so that facts are ascertained and proper investigation are completed.
Dhoot was called to the CBI office today for further investigation into the case and after a brief questioning session, he was formally arrested. According to some officials from Dhoot's team who were also present in the special court later in the day, he went to CBI's office very confidently as he was sure they would not arrest him as he was cooperating in the investigation.
"Thus he was shocked when he was told he would be placed under arrest, the lawyers will now plead for his bail, and we are hopeful that he would get bail," they said.
Dhoot was produced before special CBI judge A S Sayyad at the sessions court and after a brief argument, all three accused have been remanded to policy custody till 28, December.
Ms Kochhar was one of the members of the sanctioning committee, who in a criminal conspiracy to cheat ICICI Bank and in pursuance of criminal conspiracy by abusing her official position sanctioned the loan in favour of Dhoot's companies.
According to the agency's complaint, between 2009 to 2011, some of the loans sanctioned by ICICI Bank to various group companies of Videocon include loan of Rs 175 crore to Millennium Appliances India Ltd (MAIL) on 30 June 2009, Rs 240 crore to Sky Appliances Ltd (SAL) on 17 November 2010, Rs 110 crore to Techno Electronics Ltd (TEL) on the same day, Rs 300 crore to Applicomp India Ltd (AIL) on 30 May 2001 and Rs750 crore to Videocon Industries on 31 October 2011 etc.
It is alleged that Mr Kochhar received kickbacks from Dhoot for these loans. For instance according to CBI in September of 2009 just a day after one such loan was disbursed by ICICI Bank to VIEL, Dhoot transferred Rs 64 crore to NRL managed by Mr Kochhar.
The agency has cited several other kickbacks received by Ms Kochhar in illegal gratification/ undue benefit through her husband from VIL and Mr Dhoot. They also allege that the Kochhar couple had known Dhoot for a long time and had business relations over the years.
It is also alleged that as a part of the quid-pro-quo, Mr Dhoot made an investment of Rs 64 crore in NuPower Renewables (NRL) through Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd (SEPL) and also transferred SEPL to Pinnacle Energy Trust managed by Mr Kochhar through a circuitous route between 2009 to 2012.
The agency is seeking a long remand so that they can investigate the case further and add further charges to the case which includes criminal breach of trust by a banker.