Enforcement Directorate fails to trace money trail in Rs 5,400 crore NSEL scam - Alternative Media Forum


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Monday, 6 April 2015

Enforcement Directorate fails to trace money trail in Rs 5,400 crore NSEL scam

New Delhi,Shrimi Choudhary(dna): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has not found any evidence of money trail against Jignesh Shah, the top promoter of National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), in the Rs 5,400 crore scam. ED's first charge sheet restricts the role of Shah to 'aiding and abetting'.

ED filed the charge sheet last Wednesday (April 1) before the principal judge in the sessions court in Mumbai. The hearing is likely to commence from next week.

In the over 23,000-page prosecution complaint, the agency has chronicled how the multi-crore payment crisis scam was perpetrated. But there's no money-laundering charge against Shah. The agency had registered a case in August 2013 on the NSEL scam under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Is Shah a beneficiary or not?

"Apparently, the reasoned findings are backed by specific instances that show that he (Shah) was not the actual beneficiary of the exchange fallout. So far, we have not come across laundering by him or between Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL) and NSEL," a senior ED official told dna. FTIL is NSEL's parent company.

Who are the others involved?

When ED started prosecution proceedings last week against 68 persons, including Shah, former chairman of FTIL, MCX-SX's Joseph Massey and former NSEL CEO Anjani Sinha, the agency could not establish any money-laundering links with them.

What does the charge sheet say?

According to the charge sheet, out of Rs 5,400 crore scam, money trail is suspected in Rs 1,400 crore, transacted on exchange during 2009- 2013. The net default amount is Rs 4,000 crore. "This is not the final charge sheet. We are still probing the money trail of Rs 1,400 crore, which will appear in the additional charge sheet," said an official.

When will the next charge sheet be filed?

Sources said that ED would file an additional charge sheet in the next three months, which will include the rest of defaulters and a few more names. In the charge sheet filed last Wednesday, Anjani Sinha, former CEO, NSEL, was accused of playing a key role. He is allegedly aware of the non-existence of underlying commodities. He is also alleged to have facilitated funds to 24 borrowers/defaulters, without any underlying commodities deposited by them.

Who are the people involved?

While Amit Mukherjee, former VP, NSEL, was allegedly involved in money laundering, money trail has been traced to his two flats and one vehicle worth Rs 6 crore. Apart from Shah, Massey, Sinha and Mukherjee, Jai Bahukhandi, former associate VP, warehouse development, NSEL; Shankarlal Guru, former chairman, NSEL; and, Srikant Javalgekar, former CEO, MCX, are the key officials charge-sheeted by ED. ED has so far attached assets worth Rs 1,000 crore -- both movable and immovable, under PMLA in connection with the scam.

What's the merger about?

To fasten the recovery process, the government controversially ordered the merger of NSEL with FTIL, under Section 396. The order was passed after the NSEL scam of July 2013, which resulted in 13,000 investors losing money on the bourse.

FTIL challenged the order in the Bombay HC, which ordered status quo till February 4. The status quo was lifted following the riders by the court to the government. Apart from the merger order, the government also filed a petition in Company Law Board to supersede the FTIL board under Section 397 of the Companies Act. The CLB will hear the matter on April 17.

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