ED raids 26 premises linked to ABG Shipyards in 22k crore money laundering case

Published on Apr 26, 2022 11:37 AM IST

The CBI has accused ABG Shipyard Ltd of cheating a consortium of 28 banks to the tune of ₹22,842 crore

The ABG Shipyard dock in Surat, Gujarat. (ANI FILE PHOTO)
The ABG Shipyard dock in Surat, Gujarat. (ANI FILE PHOTO)
ByNeeraj Chauhan

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday carried out raids at 26 premises linked to ABG Shipyard Ltd, one of the largest private shipbuilding companies accused of cheating a consortium of 28 banks to the tune of 22,842 crore, people familiar with the development said.

The raids, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), are being carried out at the premises of ABG Shipyard, its sister companies and executives, in Mumbai, Pune, Surat and other places, officials said.

The ED registered a money laundering case in connection with the matter in February based on a first information report (FIR) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a probe initiated around the same time.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that huge amounts taken from banks may have been diverted within India and abroad through over 100 shell companies.

The CBI has accused ABG of cheating a consortium of 28 banks led by ICICI Bank of 22,842 crore, with ICICI having the highest exposure of 7,089 crore, followed by IDBI Bank ( 3,639 crore), State Bank of India ( 2,925 crore), Bank of Baroda ( 1,614 crore) and Punjab National Bank ( 1,244 crore).

Both, the CBI and the ED, have named ABG’s former chairman and managing director Rishi Kamlesh Agrawal and other directors of the company in their cases.

In a detailed statement, the CBI said in February that a majority of disbursements in ABG Shipyard’s account took place between 2005 and 2012, and the loan account turned into a non-performing asset (NPA) on November 30, 2013. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power between 2004 and 2014.

CBI, too, raided ABG’s premises on February 12 in various cities, and located the CMD and directors of ABG Shipyard in India itself.

A forensic audit carried out by EY in 2018 revealed that between April 2012 and July 2017, the accused persons conspired and committed illegal activities including diversion of funds, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.

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