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ED conducts searches against Videocon group, promoters in money-laundering case

ED conducts searches against Videocon group, promoters in money-laundering case
Image Source : PTI/FILE

ED conducts searches against Videocon group, promoters in money-laundering case

The ED carried out searches against the promoters of the Videocon group in Mumbai on Friday as a part of a money-laundering probe linked to alleged siphoning of financial institution mortgage funds in reference to the financing of the oil and fuel belongings of the enterprise home in Mozambique, official sources stated.

They stated the searches had been being carried out at a number of premises of the group and its promoters.

The legal case of the central investigative company, filed underneath sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), relies on a CBI FIR registered final yr on a criticism obtained from the petroleum and oil ministry.

The case pertains to alleged diversion of financial institution mortgage funds and the company is probing if the cash was laundered, the sources stated.

The CBI criticism stated in 2008, Videocon Hydrocarbons Holding Limited (VHHL), a subsidiary of the Videocon Industries Limited (VIL), acquired 10 per cent “participating interest” in the Oil and Gas Block in the Rovuma Area 1 block, Mozambique from the US-based Anadarko.

The asset in the African nation was later acquired by ONGC Videsh Limited and Oil India Limited in January, 2014 for USD 2,519 million, the CBI had stated.

In April 2012, a consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India and likewise comprising the ICICI Bank and the IDBI Bank, sanctioned a Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC) facility of USD 2,773.

60 million to VHHL for an appraisal and improvement of their abroad oil and fuel belongings in Mozambique, Brazil and Indonesia, and different funding necessities in relation to the refinancing of the present facility.

The SBLC facility of USD 1,103 million was re-financed, which included excellent of USD 400 million to the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), London.

“The first charge on VIL’s oil and gas asset was a part of the SCB’s security,” the CBI FIR stated.

The CBI discovered that VIL allegedly diverted funds of SCB, London, solely spending USD 374 million, USD 554.82 million and USD 25.25 million on its belongings in Mozambique, Indonesia and Brazil respectively, as against the ability of USD 1,616 million availed by VHHL.

“The facts and circumstances prima facie show that unknown officers of the lender banks led by SBI, in a conspiracy with Venugopal Dhoot, CMD of Videocon Industries Limited, allowed VHHL to continue to avail the facility from SCB, London with a dishonest intention of not creating a charge on the Mozambique asset and thereby, causing wrongful gain to Videocon and wrongful loss to Indian PSU banks,” the CBI alleged.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been investigating Dhoot, former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar underneath the PMLA for the previous couple of years and has additionally filed a chargesheet against them.

The case against the Kochhars, Dhoot and their enterprise entities is linked to the alleged “illegal sanctioning of loans amounting to Rs 1,875 crore to the Videocon Group of Companies”.


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