CBI raids premises of ABG Shipyards, directors in loan fraud case

CBI Headquarters in New Delhi

CBI raids premises of ABG Shipyards, directors in loan fraud case

New Delhi, February 13, 2022

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday conducted raids at over a dozen places in connection with the Rs 22,842 crore loan fraud case lodged against ABG Shipyards and its directors.

The raids were carried out at the offices and premises belonging to the company and its directors. The CBI claims it has recovered incriminating documents.

A CBI official told IANS that they conducted search operations in Surat, Bharuch, Mumbai and Pune and had recovered incriminating documents.

A complaint against them was lodged by the State Bank of India (SBI) on the basis of which the CBI filed an FIR naming Rishi Aggarwal and Santhanam Muthuswamy, the directors of ABG Shipyards.

The accused have allegedly cheated the consortium of 28 banks including the branches of erstwhile State Bank of Patiala, Commercial Finance Branch, New Delhi, erstwhile State Bank of Travancore, Commercial Branch, New Delhi, State Bank of India, Overseas Branch, Mumbai. The consortium of 28 banks was led by ICICI Bank.

The accused had colluded together and committed activities by way of diversion of funds for the purpose other than for which the funds were released by the bank, the agency said.

"Huge amounts were allegedly transferred by ABG Shipyards to its related parties and subsequently adjustment entries were made. Bank loans were diverted and huge investment was found to be made in the overseas subsidiary. The funds were diverted to purchase huge assets in the name of its related parties," said the CBI official.

The CBI has now lodged an FIR and seeing the gravity of the matter they have formed a team of its elite officials to look into it. The CBI may summon the directors of ABG Shipyards to join the investigation and will record their statements.

"They took a loan of Rs 1,228 from Indian Overseas Bank, Rs 1,244 crore from Punjab National Bank, Rs 1,614 crore from Bank of Baroda, Rs 7,089 crore from ICICI Bank and Rs 3,634 crore from IDBI Bank. Later they didn't pay the bank their dues. Initially, the bank started an internal inquiry in which it was found that the company was cheating the consortium of banks by diverting funds to different entities," said the CBI source.

ABG Shipyards is connected to the ABG group which is in the business of ship-repairing and shipbuilding. They have shipyards in Gujarat.

The official said that further probe in the matter is on.

IANS

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