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ED freezes Rs 2,747 cr in ABG Shipyard assets in bank fraud case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday froze assets and property worth more than Rs 2,747 crore owned by ABG Shipyard, its group companies and other related entities. These include agricultural land, shipyards, and bank deposits. This was related to the ED’s money laundering investigation into what could be the largest bank fraud in the country.

The move comes a day after the shipping company’s former chairman, Rishi Agrawal, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Both the ED and the CBI are investigating the company and its promoters for allegedly cheating a consortium of 28 banks led by ICICI Bank out of Rs 22,842 crore.

The properties seized include shipyards in Surat and Dahej, land and agricultural land, commercial and residential premises in Gujarat and Maharashtra, and bank accounts owned by ABG Shipyard, its group companies and other related and associated entities, the federal agency said in a statement. .

The ED’s investigation revealed that ABG Shipyard and Agarwal took out lines of credit/loans from a consortium of banks led by ICICI Bank allegedly to meet capital requirements and other business expenses.

However, the shipping company allegedly misappropriated credit lines and diverted the funds to related entities incorporated in India and abroad, causing a significant loss for the consortium, the ED said.

ED’s case was brought under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after investigators studied the CBI complaint and forensic audit report. On February 7, the CBI signed Agarwal, then-executive director Santhanam Muthaswamy, and directors Ashwini Kumar, Sushil Kumar Agarwal, and Ravi Vimal Nevetia.

ICICI Bank has the highest exposure to entities with Rs 7,089 crore, followed by IDBI Bank (Rs 3,639 crore), State Bank of India (Rs 2,925 crore), Bank of Baroda (Rs 1,614 crore) and Punjab National Bank (Rs 1,244 crore). crore). ). million rupees).

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