No effort to delay ABG shipyard investigation by lenders, says SBI – Reuters

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MUMBAI: As controversy erupts over the delay in filing the First Information Report (FIR) by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against ABG Shipyard, the State Bank of India (SBI) clarified that the banks do not were not responsible for the delay.
The loans to the struggling shipbuilder were provided by more than a consortium of two dozen lenders, led by ICICI Bank, which became non-performing in November 2013, following which the loans were restructured under the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) program in 2014. “However, as the shipping industry went through a downturn, one of the worst ever, the company’s operations were unable to resume,” the State Bank of India said in a statement on Sunday.
As the restructuring failed, the account was classified as NPA in July 2016 with backdated effect from November 30, 2013. E&Y was appointed as forensic auditor by the lenders in April 2018 and they submitted their report in January 2019. The report E&Y was placed before the fraud. Identification committee of 18 lenders in 2019. Fraud was mainly attributed to embezzlement, embezzlement and criminal breach of trust.
“Although ICICI Bank was the lead lender to the consortium and IDBI was the second lead, it was preferred that SBI be the largest PSB lender, files the complaint with CBI. The first complaint was filed with CBI in November 2019. There was ongoing engagement between CBI and the banks and further information was exchanged,” SBI said.
The CBI on Friday booked ABG Shipyard Ltd and its former chairman and chief executive Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal along with others for allegedly defrauding a consortium of banks out of more than Rs 22,842 crore – billed as the biggest fraud in history Indian bank.
Apart from Agarwal, the investigative agency also named then-Executive Director Santhanam Muthaswamy, Directors Ashwini Kumar, Sushil Kumar Agarwal and Ravi Vimal Nevetia and another company ABG International Pvt Ltd for alleged criminal conspiracy offenses , cheating, criminal breach of trust and breach of trust. official position under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, media said. —PTI





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