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Nagpur: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday claimed that it had recently questioned former chairman and managing director of ABG Shipyard Ltd Rishi Agarwal in connection with Rs 22,000 crore alleged bank fraud.

The Rs 22,848 is said to be India’s biggest fraud. As per various sources, the agency searched his house on Saturday, after which the summons was issued. Other former directors—Santhanam Muthuswamy and Ashwini Kumar are also being investigated by the CBI. A complaint was filed by State Bank of India (SBI) on August 25, 2020.

As per CBI, ABG Shipyard and its directors are accused of cheating 28 banks of worth Rs 23,000 crore. The shipyard company availed loans since 2005 but due to the non-payment of the dues, the account turned non-performing assets (NPAs) in 2013.

Until 2012 to 2013, ABG was thriving with a net profit of Rs 107 crore. The downfall of the company started after 2013, mainly in 2014 with a loss of Rs 199 crore. By march 2016, the net loss had amounted to Rs 3,704 crore, up by almost Rs 897 crore in 2014-15.

According to the FIR registered by the CBI, the Gujarat-based firm invested the money taken as loans from banks in overseas subsidiaries, acquired assets through affiliated companies and transferred a portion to several related parties.

The SBI first filed a complaint on November 8, 2019 on which the SBI sought some clarifications on March 12, 2020. After a year and a half, CBI acted on the complaint and filed the fir on February 7.

According to the complaint filed by SBI, the ABG Shipyard Ltd owes Rs 2,925 crore to SBI, Rs 7,809 crore to ICICI bank, Rs 3,634 to IDBI bank, Rs 1,614 crore to Bank of Baroda, ₹ 1,244 to Punjab National Bank (PNB) and ₹ 1,228 crore to Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).

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