Loan fraud: ABG Shipyard’s ex-CMD quizzed again

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The CBI on Monday questioned Rishi Agarwal, former promoter and chairman and managing director (CMD) of ABG Shipyard, for the second time in connection with the Rs 22,800-crore loan default by the company.

The agency had questioned him last week as well.

Following the registration of a case against ABG Shipyard and Agarwal, the CBI had opened lookout circulars (LoC) against Agarwal and other accused to prevent them from fleeing abroad. LoCs had been opened by case complainant SBI too, in 2019, against Agarwal and others. The agency has found that the company allegedly diverted funds using as many as 98 related entities.

Sources said Agarwal was earlier asked about the alleged diversion of funds detected by the agency during its investigation and was confronted with evidence provided by the SBI and other banks. Since then, some new facts had come to light during investigation for which Agarwal was questioned again, sources said.

They added that in the last round of interrogation, Agarwal had promised to answer certain questions later after checking his own records.

The agency had on February 7 booked ABG Shipyard Ltd and Agarwal, along with 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 IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has initiated a case of money laundering against the company and its directors and is also likely to summon them for questioning.

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