The lender said that a fraud is declared on the basis a forensic audit report findings that are discussed thoroughly in joint lenders’ meetings. Typically, when fraud is declared, an initial complaint is preferred with CBI, and based on their enquiries further information is gathered
MUMBAI : There were no attempts to delay investigations in the case of alleged fraud at ABG Shipyard Ltd and since filing of the first complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in November 2019, there was a continuous engagement between the agency and lenders, State Bank of India (SBI) said on Sunday.
Its statement came after the Congress party asked at a press conference on Sunday why it took so long to file an FIR since the company already went into liquidation. News agency PTI reported on Saturday that the CBI has booked ABG Shipyard Ltd and its then chairman and managing director Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal along with others for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks of over ₹22,842 crore.
“The circumstances of the fraud, as well as CBI requirements, were further deliberated in the various meetings of joint lenders and a fresh and comprehensive second complaint was filed in December 2020. The account is presently undergoing liquidation under an NCLT driven process," the statement said.
ABG Shipyard was ordered to be liquidated in 2019 under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
The lender said that a fraud is declared on the basis a forensic audit report findings that are discussed thoroughly in joint lenders’ meetings. Typically, when fraud is declared, an initial complaint is preferred with CBI, and based on their enquiries further information is gathered.
“In a few cases, when substantial additional information is gathered, a second compliant incorporating full and complete details is filed which forms the basis for the FIR," it said.
SBI said that although ICICI Bank was the lead lender in the consortium and IDBI Bank was the second lead, it was preferred that SBI lodges the complaint with CBI, being the largest lender.
Laying out the details of the account, India’s largest lender said that ABG Shipyard, incorporated on 15 March 1985, has had banking arrangements since 2001. It was financed under a consortium arrangement by over two dozen lenders with private lender ICICI Bank as the lead. Due to poor performance, the account turned non-performing on 30 November 2013 and several efforts were made to revive the company failed, it said.
The account was then restructured under the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) mechanism in March 2014 by all lenders, which did not take off as well.
“As the restructuring failed, the account was classified as non-performing asset (NPA) in July 2016 with backdated effect from 30 November 2013. E&Y was appointed as the forensic auditor by lenders during April 2018 and they submitted their report on 19 January," it said.
SBI said that the E&Y report was placed before the Fraud Identification Committee of 18 lenders in 2019.