ABG Shipyard Limited, one of India’s largest private sector shipyard companies, has been indicted in a bank fraud case by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). On Saturday, the CBI filed a complaint against ABG Shipyard and its then Chairman and Managing Director Rishi Agarwal and others for allegedly defrauding 28 banks of Rs 22,842 crore.
Officials also informed that in addition to Agarwal, the agency also appointed 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 official position under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
ABG Shipyard Ltd is the flagship company of the ABG Group which is engaged in shipbuilding and ship repair. The shipyards are located in Dahej and Surat in Gujarat.
This is one of the biggest bank fraud cases (larger than the National Bank of Punjab scam involving Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi) that the CBI will investigate.
In the FIR filed on the complaint of the State Bank of India (SBI), the forensic audit report revealed that between April 2012 and July 2017, the defendants colluded and engaged in illegal activities including embezzlement of funds, embezzlement and criminal breach of trust. and for purposes other than those for which the funds are released by the bank.
According to a complaint filed by State Bank of India, the company owes Rs 2,925 crore to the bank, Rs 7,089 crore to ICICI Bank, Rs 3,634 crore to IDBI Bank, Rs 1,614 crore to Bank of Baroda, Rs 1,244 to PNB and Rs 1,228 crore to IOB. The funds were used for purposes other than those for which they were released by the banks, the CBI said.
The company was sanctioned with credit facilities from 28 banks and financial institutions, with the SBI having an exposure of Rs 2,468.51 crore, the investigative agency said.
The State Bank of India had filed a first complaint on November 8, 2019 on which the CBI had sought clarification on March 12, 2020. Further, the bank filed a new complaint in August of the same year. After “examining” for more than a year and a half, the CBI responded to the complaint by filing an FIR on February 7, 2022.
The group is promoted by Rishi Agarwal who has been one of the key players in the Indian shipbuilding industry. ABG Shipyard Limited (ABGSL), shipyards have the capacity to build vessels up to 18,000 deadweight tons (DWT) at Surat Shipyard and 120,000 deadweight tons (DWT) at Surat Shipyard Dahej.
ABGSL has built over 165 vessels (including 46 for the export market) over the past 16 years, including specialist vessels such as newsprint carriers, unloading and loading bulk cement carriers automatic, floating cranes, interceptor boats, dynamically positioned dive support vessels, pusher tugs and flotillas. for large companies in India and abroad.
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