Rs 22,842 crore fraud case: CBI Grills ABG Shipyard’s Former MD

Sources said multiple sets of questions were put before Aggarwal and his replies were recorded. He was also questioned showing some documents related to the scam. They added that Aggarwal was supporting the investigation but many a time, he turned a bit nervous. 

A team of officials and experts of the CBI on Monday questioned Rishi K Aggarwal — former chairman-cum-managing director of ABG Shipyard Private Limited — for several hours after he appeared second time before the agency in connection with the bank loan fraud case of around Rs 22,842 crore.

Sources said multiple sets of questions were put before Aggarwal and his replies were recorded. He was also questioned showing some documents related to the scam. They added that Aggarwal was supporting the investigation but many a time, he turned a bit nervous. 

Earlier, soon after initiating a probe based on a complaint by the State Bank of India, the CBI had issued Lookout Circulars (LoCs) against the accused in order to prevent them from feeling from the country.

So far, the CBI has conducted raids at more than 13 locations in connection with the sensational case. 

The central probe agency had registered an FIR in the matter on February 7, 2022 on a complaint filed by SBI 17 months ago on August 25, 2020.

The 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 Pvt Ltd, for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust and abuse of official position under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.

Immediately after filing the FIR, the CBI had conducted searches at 13 locations on February 12.

Officials claimed they had received several “incriminating documents” such as books of accounts of the accused borrower company, which were being scrutinised.

The bank had first filed a complaint on November 8, 2019 on which the central investigation agency had sought some clarifications on March 12, 2020.

The bank filed a fresh complaint in August that year.

After “scrutinising” for over one-and-a-half-years, the CBI acted on the complaint, filing an FIR on February 7, 2022.

Officials said the matter was big with voluminous data and records as 28 banks were involved and needed verification before moving with an FIR.

They said the company had allegedly diverted funds to a lot of companies which also needed detailed scrutiny.

The company was sanctioned credit facilities from 28 banks and financial institutions led by ICICI Bank, with SBI having exposure of Rs 2,468.51 crore, they said.

A forensic audit by Ernst & Young has shown that between 2012 and 2017, the accused colluded together and committed illegal activities, including diversion of funds, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust, they said.

It is the biggest bank fraud case registered by the CBI.

Funds were used for purposes other than for which they were released by banks, it said.

PTI