June 10, 2023


NEW DELHI: The CBI has issued a fresh Look Out Circular against the accused in the ABG Shipyard fraud case, pegged at a staggering Rs 22,842 crores, to prevent them from fleeing the country. The suspect directors of the shipping firm have been located in India and are being investigated, the agency said on Tuesday. Earlier, the State Bank of India had got issued a look out notice against the prime accused in the case.
The CBI also said on Tuesday that the initial probe in the case had revealed that the majority of loan disbursement to the accused company by banks took place between 2005-2012.
The CBI raised concerns about how the withdrawal of general consent to CBI Investigation by certain states had made the registration of bank fraud cases more challenging. “There are around 100 high value bank fraud cases that could not be registered due to non- accordance of specific consent under section 6 of the DSPE Act by state governments where the general consent has been withdrawn,” the agency spokesperson added.
Regarding reports of delay in registration of FIR in the ABG shipyard case, CBI sources said there had been no delay as an enquiry had been in progress since a complaint was filed in 2020. “The preliminary enquiry was a time consuming process. We had to examine 98 sister concerns of the accused firm. The 28 banks had sanctioned different types of credit facilities which had to be scrutinised individually,” an official said.
Also, the agency did not have a forensic audit report of the period between 2005 and 2012 which was critical to the investigation, sources said adding that the report submitted by the bank was of 2012-2017.
“ABG Shipyard Ltd had been in business with SBI since 2001. Their account, as per the bank, turned a non performing asset (NPA) on November 30, 2013. The account was restructured in 2014. However, the operations of the company could not be revived.
An audit firm was deployed in 2014 and it gave its report in 2016 observing various faults on the part the accused company. Subsequently, the account of ABG Shipyard Ltd was declared an NPA on July 30, 2016 with effect from November 30, 2013.
“In keeping with a policy, implemented since 2014, of red-flagging suspect accounts, commissioning forensic audits by empanelled forensic auditors, and making CMDs liable, a forensic audit was initiated in April 2018. In between April 2019 and March 2020, various Banks of the consortium declared the account of ABG Shipyard as “fraud”.
On February 7, CBI had filed an FIR naming directors of ABG Shipyard viz Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal, Santhanam Muthaswamy, Ashwini Kumar, Sushil Agarwal, Ravi Vimal Nevetia and ABG international private limited as accused in the case. Allegations pertain to diverting and misappropriating the loan. Searches were conducted at 13 locations on February 12.


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