CBI delivers ABG Shipyard in biggest bank fraud case over Rs 22,842 crore

New Delhi, February 12: In its biggest bank fraud case, the CBI has hired ABG Shipyard Ltd and its former Chairman and Managing Director Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal and others for allegedly defrauding a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India out of more than Rs 22,842 crore, officials said on Saturday. .

Apart from Agarwal, the agency also named then-executive director Santhanam Muthaswamy, directors Ashwini Kumar, Sushil Kumar Agarwal and Ravi Vimal Nevetia and another company ABG International Pvt Ltd for alleged offenses of criminal conspiracy, cheating , criminal breach of trust and abuse of power. position under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.

“Searchs were conducted on Saturday at 13 locations in the premises of the defendants including private company, administrators in Surat, Bharuch, Mumbai, Pune, etc. resulting in the recovery of incriminating documents,” CBI said in a statement. a statement.

The bank had first filed a complaint on November 8, 2019 on which the CBI had requested clarification on March 12, 2020.

The bank filed a new complaint in August of the same year. After “examining” for more than a year and a half, the CBI followed up on the complaint by filing an FIR on February 7.

The company was sanctioned with credit facilities from 28 banks and financial institutions led by ICICI Bank, with the SBI having an exposure of Rs 2,468.51 crore, the officials said.

The Ernst and Young forensic audit showed that between 2012 and 2017, the defendants colluded and engaged in illegal activities, including embezzlement, embezzlement and criminal breach of trust, have- they stated.

This is the largest bank fraud case recorded by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The funds were used for purposes other than those for which they were released by the banks, he said.

The loan account was reported as a non-performing asset (NPA) in July 2016 and fraud in 2019.

In its complaint, the State Bank of India stated that ABG Shipyard Ltd (ABGSL) is the flagship company of ABG Group which is engaged in building and repairing ships.

ABGSL, a major player in the Indian shipbuilding industry, operates from shipyards located in Dahej and Surat in Gujarat with the capacity to build vessels up to 18,000 deadweight tons (DWT) ) at Surat Shipyard and 120,000 Deadweight Tonnage (DWT) at Dahej Shipyard.

The company has built over 165 vessels (including 46 for the export market) over the past 16 years, including specialty vessels such as newsprint carriers. self-unloading and loading bulk cement carriers, floating cranes, etc. with class approval from all international classification societies such as Lloyds, American Bureau of Shipping. Bureau Veritas, IRS, DNV, according to the complaint.

“The global crisis has impacted the shipping industry due to falling demand and prices for commodities and the subsequent drop in freight demand. The cancellation of contracts for a few vessels and vessels has led to inventory buildup. This has led to a shortage of working capital and caused significant increases in the operating cycle, thus aggravating the liquidity problem and the financial problem,” the complaint said.

The SBI said there was no demand for commercial vessels as the industry was going through a recession even in 2015 which was further aggravated due to lack of defense orders which made it difficult for the company to maintain the repayment schedule, he said.

“The company has been referred to NCLT, Ahmedabad by ICICI Bank for CIRP,” he said.

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About Stuart M. McFarland

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