ED attaches assets worth Rs 2,700 crore in ABG Shipyard bank fraud case

The CBI booked ABG Shipyard's former director Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal for availing credits from banks and misappropriating funds.

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Directors of ABG Shipyard Limited were booked for defrauding 28 banks to the tune of Rs 22,842 crore
Directors of ABG Shipyard Limited were booked for defrauding 28 banks to the tune of Rs 22,842 crore. (Photo: Reuters/Representative)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • ED attached assets worth Rs 2,700 crore to the ABG Shipyard Limited case
  • Case pertains to defrauding of a consortium of 28 banks to the tune of Rs 22,800 crore
  • ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR dated February 7 2022.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 2,700 crore to the ABG Shipyard Limited case. The scam relates to the alleged defrauding of a consortium of 28 banks to the tune of Rs 22,800 crore. Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal, former chairman and managing director, of the shipping firm along with others, was booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in February 2022.

The attached assets include a shipyard at Surat and Dahej in Gujarat, agricultural lands and plots, various commercial and residential premises in Gujarat and Maharashtra and bank accounts owned by ABG Shipyard Ltd, its group companies and other related entities.

ABG Shipyard Limited fraud case

The ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR dated February 7 2022, registered by the CBI.

Besides Agarwal, the probe agency has also named the then executive director Santhanam Muthaswamy, directors Ashwini Kumar, Sushil Kumar Agarwal and Ravi Vimal Nevetia and another company, ABG International Private Limited, for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust and abuse of official position under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.

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"Searches were conducted at 13 locations in the premises of the accused including private company, directors at Surat, Bharuch, Mumbai, Pune, etc which led to the recovery of incriminating documents," CBI had said in a statement.

An investigation by the ED revealed that ABG Shipyard's Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal availed credit facilities, loans from a consortium of banks led by ICICI Bank, Mumbai on the pretext of meeting its capital requirements and other business expenses. However, the company misappropriated facilities and diverted the funds for purposes other than its actual cause in the garb of various loans, advances, and investments. It eventually incurred monetary loss to the tune of 22,800 crore to the consortium.

At present, the ED has traced movable and immovable assets totalling Rs. 2747.69 crore belonging to ABG Shipyard Ltd., its group companies, Bermaco Energy Systems Ltd., Dhananjay Datar, Savita Dhananjay Datar, Krishna Gopal Toshniwal, Viren Ahuja and attached them under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The investigation is underway.

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