The Congress on Sunday questioned the Modi government as the massive ABG Shipyard scam came out in the open after the CBI booked ABG Shipyard and its former chairman and managing director Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India to the tune of ₹22,842 crore.
Counting all the bank fraud cases in recent years, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said now Rishi Agarwal is added to the long list of bank defaulters Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Jatin Mehta, Chetan Sandesara etc.
The Congress publicly held a press conference and warned the government that ABG Shipyard is a scam in 2018, Surjewala said. Asking why it took the government five years to take action against ABG Shipyard, the Congress alleged that in 2007 ABG Shipyard was allotted 1,21,000 square metres of land by the Gujarat government when Narendra Modi was the chief minister.
On Saturday, the CBI conducted searches at 13 locations at Surat, Bharuch, Mumbai and Pune leading to the recovery of incriminating documents, the CBI said in a statement.
State Bank of India filed the first complaint, in this case, was filed on November 8, 2019. The investigation agency sought more details and the complaint reportedly missed details like the time of the fraud, modus operandi etc. The bank then filed a fresh complaint in August 2020. After scrutinising the complaint, the CBI filed an FIR on February 7.
In the last 7.5 years of the Modi government, there have been bank frauds of ₹5 lakh 35,000 core, which is people’s money, the Congress said.
ABG Shipyard is the flagship company of the ABG Group engaged in ship-building and ship repair. The company was sanctioned credit facilities of ₹2468.51 crore from 28 banks. Between 2012-17, the promoters of the company allegedly committed illegal activities including diversion of funds, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust. The loan account was declared as a non-performing asset in July 2016 and fraud in 2019.