NSEL crisis: Mumbai Police to file chargesheet by month-end

Jignesh-MasseyNSEL, promoted by Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies has been facing problems in settling Rs 5,600 crore dues of 148 member brokers.

The Mumbai Police is expected to file a comprehensive charge sheet in the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) scam by this month end.

"We are working towards filing the charge sheet in the NSEL case within 90 days from the date of FIR registration," said Rajvardhan Singh, Additional Police Commissioner with Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai Police.

According to police sources, the voluminous chargesheet will include modus operandi of the crime, how management was hand-in-glove with the defaulters, how certain borrowing companies appointed dummy directors, manipulation of books by various companies, details of properties attached and their estimated value, bank accounts frozen and money in these accounts among others.

The FIR was lodged on September 30 by EOW against directors Jignesh Shah, Joseph Massey and others charging them with cheating, forgery, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy, among other offences.

The spot commodity bourse, promoted by Shah-led Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), has been facing problems in settling Rs 5,600 crore dues of 148 member brokers, representing 13,000 investor clients.

Currently busy examining the books of accounts of borrowers-turned-defaulters, the EOW's next focus would be studying brokers' books of accounts, the officer said.

Police suspect equal role of brokers in the scam as many of them have sold NSEL commodities despite having knowledge of the fraudulent practices in the spot exchange.

The EOW has invoked Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act, which empowers police to attach immovable assets of the accused.

So far, police have attached 206 properties (of the accused and the defaulters), valued at total of Rs 2,985.90 crore.

Investigators have found Rs 170.97 crore in 322 bank accounts which were frozen during the probe.

EOW has so far arrested five persons in the case – Anjani Sinha, Amit Mukherjee and Jay Bahukhundi of the NSEL, and borrowers Nilesh Patel, managing director of N K Proteins, and Arun Sharma, chairman of Lotus Refineries and also a film financier. All of them are in judicial custody and presently lodged in Arthur Road Jail.

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