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ABG Shipyard Case: Properties worth Rs2,747 crore attached by ED

Shipyards in Surat and Dahej, Gujarat, as well as various commercial and residential properties in Gujarat and Maharashtra, as well as bank accounts owned by ABG Shipyard Ltd., its group companies, and other related entities are among the seized properties, according to a statement from the federal agency.

September 23, 2022 8:32 IST | India Infoline News Service

Agricultural lands, commercial assets, dockyards, and bank deposits totalling more than Rs2,747 crore have been attached, according to the ED, as part of an alleged money laundering probe involving bank loan fraud against ABG Shipyard Ltd., its group companies, and affiliated entities.

Shipyards in Surat and Dahej, Gujarat, as well as various commercial and residential properties in Gujarat and Maharashtra, as well as bank accounts owned by ABG Shipyard Ltd., its group companies, and other related entities are among the seized properties, according to a statement from the federal agency.

According to the Prevention of Money Laundering (Act), the total amount of the assets that have been temporarily attached is Rs2,747.69 crore.

The company's founder, Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal, was arrested by the CBI a day before to the Enforcement Directorate's operation.

According to the ED, an investigation determined that ABG Shipyard Ltd. and its Chairman and Managing Director Agarwal had borrowed money from a group of banks led by the ICICI Bank, Mumbai, under the guise of covering capital needs and other business expenses.

However, it claimed that ABG Shipyard Ltd. "misappropriated" the credit facilities obtained from the consortium and "diverted" the funds for uses other than their intended use, donning various loans, advances, investments, and other forms of compensation to a number of affiliated companies established both in India and abroad.

The banking consortium allegedly suffered a "monetary loss" of Rs22,842 crore as a result of these alleged unlawful transactions.

ABG Shipyard Ltd., its affiliated firms, Bermaco Energy Systems Ltd., Dhananjay Datar, Savita Dhananjay Datar, Krishna Gopal Toshniwal, and Viren Ahuja are the owners of the attached assets, according to the statement.

In response to a complaint filed by the State Bank of India, the CBI opened an investigation into possible violations of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including criminal conspiracy, fraud, criminal breach of trust, and misuse of a public office.

With shipyards in Gujarat's Dahej and Surat, the ABG Shipyard has played a significant role in the country's shipbuilding industry. It can construct ships with a dead weight tonnage (DWT) of up to 18,000 at the shipyard in Surat and 1,20,000 at the shipyard in Dahej.

The bank had initially complained on November 8, 2019, and on March 12, 2020, the CBI requested more details. In August of that year, a new complaint was made.

The CBI acted on the complaint by filing an FIR on February 7 of this year after "scrutinizing" it for more than one and a half years.

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