Videocon Group head Venugopal Dhoot sent to CBI custody till December 28

In the latest development of the ICICI Bank fraud case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has got custody of Venugopal Dhoot till December 28. Venugopal Dhoot who is the founder and chairman of Indian multinational tech company Videocon group was earlier arrested by CBI for allegedly trying to cheat ICICI Bank of Rs 1,730 crore.

Former Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak were also arrested by the investigative agency on Friday for cheating the bank of thousands of crores rupees.

Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar
Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar

According to FIR lodged by Central Bureau of Investigation, Venugopal Dhoot, Chanda Kochhar and Deepak Kochhar took part in a financial and criminal conspiracy to cheat ICICI Bank. FIR also stated companies such as NuPower Renewables and Videocon Industries as part of the criminal conspiracy.

During her tenure as head of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar sanctioned a 3,250 crore loan to Videocon Industries. Later, Videocon Industries transferred a large amount of this loan amount to NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL). NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd was a newly established renewable energy company owned by Deepak Kochhar and two relatives.

Chanda Kochhar allegedly flouted various rules and regulations related to banking services and lending loans, while she sanctioned loans for Videocon group owned by Venugopal Dhoot.

As shareholders began pointing out irregularities in the lending process of ICICI Bank, both media and government agencies began looking closely at the financial movements at ICICI Bank. Major Indian newspaper, the Indian Express later put out an investigative report stating that Chanda Kochhar had earlier made several financial transactions to companies including Essar Group. Most of these loans were later declared as NPA (Non-performing Assets) or bad loans by ICICI Bank.

The Enforcement Directorate, which is an Indian law enforcement agency responsible for investigating economic crimes, has also filed a case against the former CEO on counts of money laundering.