The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday conducted raids at the residences of former Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey and former National Stock Exchange (NSE) CEOs Chitra Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, among others, in connection with a fresh case it registered against them. Sources said raids are being conducted at 18 locations spread across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi NCR, Lucknow, Kota and Chandigarh.
In its new case of alleged corruption related to the NSE co-location scam, the agency has alleged that the company floated by Pandey was illegally tapping phones of NSE employees and giving the transcripts to the accused.
“Pandey’s company iSec Securities is also being raided. It is alleged that the company had illegally tapped phones of three NSE employees between 2009 and 2017. They were even providing transcripts,” a CBI official said.
The CBI is already probing Ramkrishna and Narain in the 2018 NSE co-location case where some brokers, in connivance with some officials of NSE, allegedly got quicker access to the bourses when they opened, helping them book huge profits.
The Indian Express had on July 3 reported that the CBI is probing how iSec Securities, incorporated in 2001 by Pandey, who retired as Mumbai police commissioner on June 30, did not red-flag that the NSE servers were compromised.
When the firm iSec Services Pvt Ltd was incorporated in March 2001, Pandey was not in service. He quit the directorship in May 2006, with his mother Santosh and son Armaan becoming directors in the company. Based out of Oshiwara in Andheri, it was one of the IT companies tasked with conducting security audits at NSE during 2010 to 2015 when the co-location scam is believed to have taken place. The CBI has recorded the statement of one of the company employees, a source said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money laundering aspect in the 2018 case, had questioned Pandey on July 5.
The CBI’s investigation over the course of the last four years long had led to the arrest of Ramkrishna and its former group operating officer Anand Subramanian.
Some BJP leaders had accused Pandey of going after its leaders at the behest of the then Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, a charge denied by the officer. BJP leader Mohit Kamboj, against whom an FIR was registered in connection with a bank fraud, had hinted that Pandey could face action after his retirement on June 30. Soon after recording his statement with police last month, Kamboj had said: “While the 1st (June 1) belongs to the person who registered this case against me, the 30th (June 30) will belong to us.”
As per iSec’s financial records, the company was incorporated by Pandey and one Pankaj Chandra, with 5,000 shares each. Pandey quit the directorship in May 2006, with his mother Santosh and son Armaan becoming directors in the company.
Currently, Santosh is the whole-time director while one Anand Narayan is the other director. As per the shareholding pattern provided by the company as on March 31, 2021, Santosh and Armaan each hold 50% each in the company and Sanjay Pandey is not a shareholder.
iSec Services Pvt Ltd’s website says it was established in 2001 and is an ISO-certified company. “We are engaged in ensuring security of information through a variety of security services, helping detect and prevent theft of information. iSec has been providing information security management services to various clients both in India as well as abroad. iSec’s efforts are supported by professional information security consultants….,” it says.