According to Gujarat based media alleged connivance of BJP led governments at Gujarat and Delhi in India made way for  biggest bank scam of worth Rs 23,0000 crores has surfaced 

Gujarat based media claimed that DRTA, in 2018 had authorised banks to recover Rs 19,13,975 cr from ABG Shipyard but banks didn’t act for some inexplicable reasons  

In its report Gujarat based media claimed that the BJP government both in the state and Centre did not act in time, despite several alarms and complaints lodged by lenders against the ABG Shipyard.  

Inspite that  the Debt Recovery Tribunal Ahmedabad (DRTA) four years ago in 2018 had authorised banks to recover Rs 19, 13,975 crores from the ABG Shipyard , but reason know to banks  

The huge recovery  amount Had not  been recovered, ans as a result the loss to a consortium of banks now  have reached to Rs 23,000 crores, said the reports.  

The Consortium of banks includes Dena Bank, ICICI Bank and SBI Bank were first to approach the DRTA seeking action against the ABG Shipyard for not repaying the loan in time. 

Following the complaint, DRTA in December 2018 had asked the banks to recover the loan from the ABG Shipyard.  If the ABG Shipyard fails to pay the amount, the DRTA said that banks can sell off their properties, reported Dainik Bhaskar.  

One of the lenders, SBI, lodged a complaint with the CBI in 2019, following which a case was registered against the Gujarat based company recently.  

Incorporated on March 15, 1985, the ABG Shipyard Limited (ABGSL) is engaged in the business of ship building and ship repair.    

This company is by Gujarat based promoted Rishi Agarwal, ABG Group has been a major player in the Indian ship building industry. 

The company’s shipyards are located at Dahej and Surat in Gujarat.  The SBI in a statement, last week stated that the loans given to ABG Shipyard had become NPA on November 30, 2013, but after a failed debt restructuring, it was “classified as NPA in July 2016 with backdated effect from November 30, 2013.”  

India BJP government  Finance minister  said the loans were given under the Congress-led UPA regime and the account became a non-performing asset (NPA) in November 2013 and the debt was restructured in March 2014 by all lenders, but it could not be recused.

Though the Agarwal led company had bagged several contracts worth millions of dollars between 2002 to 2014 (during the tenure of Modi as the CM) its financial condition started worsening since 2012.  

Appointed by lenders, Ernst & Young in its Forensic Audit report from the period of April 2012 to July 2017 said, 

“The accused (ABG Shipyard) have colluded together and committed illegal activities including diversion of funds, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust and for purposes other than for the purpose for which the funds are released by the Bank.”  

Ernst & Young was appointed as forensic auditor by lenders in April 2018 and they submitted their report in January 2019.  

The E & Y report was placed before the Fraud Identification Committee of 18 lenders in 2019. as a result CBI registered a case only in 2022.  

CBI books ABG Shipyard its directors in biggest bank fraud case
Last week CBI official said, “Searches have been conducted on 13 premises of the accused persons in Surat, Bharuch, Mumbai and other places. Further legal proceedings are being initiated.”

The Congress party has claimed that Agarwal who was frequently seen with the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, has taken citizenship of Singapore.  

Though the top investigative agency is said to have no clue about the promoter Rishi Agarwal, it is said that he left the country during 2016  and lives in Singapore.  

Surprisingly, led by ICICI Bank with the SBI having exposure of Rs 2468.51 crore, a consortium of 28 banks and financial institutions sanctioned loans to the company whose assets were valued less than Rs 200.  

When asked, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman defended her government saying the time taken to detect the fraud was less than normal.  

It is worth mentioning here that the Modi government took five years to file the first fraud complaint in the Rs 22,842 loan default ABG Shipyard case.  

Last week bank officials said that in its biggest bank fraud case the CBI has booked ABG Shipyard Limited and its former Chairman and Managing Director Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal along with others for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks led by SBI of over Rs.22,842 crore. 

The other banks include ICICI Bank (Rs.7,089 crore), IDBI Bank (Rs.3,634 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs.1,614 crore), PNB (Rs.1,244 crore, and IOB (Rs.1,228 crore).

The case has been registered on a complaint from the State Bank of India alleging criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust, and abuse of official position.

Along with Rishi Kamlesh, others named in the FIR are Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal, Santhanam Muthaswamy, Ashwini Kumar, Sushil Kumar Agarwal, Ravi Vimal Nevetia, and ABG International Private Limited.