Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal, the former chairman and managing director of ABG Shipyard, the private shipping company accused of cheating a consortium of 28 banks out of Rs 22,842 crore, was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday. Rishi Agarwal was interrogated just days after the central investigation agency filed a FIR against him and conducted searches in 13 different locations, including Surat, Bharuch, Mumbai, and Pune. The CBI interview comes just one day after the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case in connection with the suspected bank fraud.
On condition of anonymity, a top ED officer told Hindustan Times that the agency would look into the alleged diversion of cash by ABG office bearers both in India and abroad.According to preliminary investigations, at least 100 shell firms may have been implicated in the case, which were utilised to steal public funds, the official stated.ABG Shipyard, which was founded in 1985, allegedly acquired loans from a group of banks led by ICICI, IDBI, and ultimately SBI in 2001. According to the CBI, ABG Shipyard’s account was deemed a non-profitable asset (NPA) in 2013. The non-performing assets were valued at Rs 22,842 crores, with the majority of the payments made between 2005 and 2012.In 2019, the forensic auditor EY discovered money laundering, causing the SBI to contact the Central Bureau of Investigation in the same year.