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Mumbai: ED conducts searches in Videocon Mozambique oil and gas deal case

12:01 PM Jul 17, 2021 | Somendra Sharma

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Friday, carried out searches at two locations in Mumbai and Aurangabad in connection with the alleged irregularities with investment made by state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) in a gas block in Mozambique in 2008.

ED sources said, searches were conducted at Malabar Hill and Govandi areas in Mumbai, and in Aurangabad. "Searches were in connection with Videocon's oil and gas business in Mozambique," a top ED official from Delhi confirmed to the FPJ.

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Bharat PetroResources Limited (BPRL), a subsidiary of (BPCL), had invested its share in developing Rovuma Area-1 offshore block in Mozambique and bought 10 per cent stake from US energy major Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for 75 million dollars in August 2008. In the same month, Videocon through its subsidiary acquired 10 per cent stake in the same block for an equivalent amount, said ED sources.

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In 2013, Videocon sold the stake to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh limited for 2.475 billion dollars. The CBI had in June booked Videocon group chairman Venugopal Dhoot for alleged corruption in the financing of the Mozambique asset.

In the FIR, CBI had 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 Indialed consortium. The case is based on a preliminary inquiry against officials of ministry of petroleum and natural gas, officials of the consortium of banks (SBI, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank).

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