Jignesh Shah, the chief promoter of the National Spot Exchange Ltd., (NSEL) and Shreekant Javalgekar, its chief financial officer, were arrested Wednesday by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch’s Economic Offences Wing in connection with the Rs 5,600 crore NSEL payments scam.
EOW officers claimed the duo, who were questioned for several hours before being arrested, were evasive during questioning and sought to blame NSEL managing director Anjani Sinha for the scandal.
“Jignesh Shah and Shreekant Javalgekar took part in a criminal conspiracy and operated NSEL like a non-banking financial institution. During questioning, it was felt that both were evasive and sought to shift the blame on to Anjani Sinha. They were not co-operating with the investigation and hence we felt that custodial interrogation will lead us to the truth,” said additional commissioner of police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha.
The duo will be produced in the Esplanade court at 1.00 pm Thursday, Sinha said.
The total number of arrests in the nine-month investigation has now touched 11.
“It was also revealed during the investigation that Shah had linked the value of the transactions on the NSEL platform to the percentage of income of FTIL. So the more your trade in NSEL, the more royalty would go to the parent company. This was, in a way, leading to wrongful gains, whereby FTIL was substantially gaining brand value in the market, which led to launching other exchanges by buyers,” Sinha said.
Sinha also alleged that Javalgekar had been aware of the criminal conspiracy and approved all of NSEL’s transactions. “Javalgekar had defrauded NSEL’s borrowers. We also suspect that there is an inflow of black money as a large number of clients have not been traced,” he alleged.
The EOW also continues to probe the alleged complicity of several brokers, who had been indulging in malpractices.
“Certain brokerage houses had been charging 0.2 per cent in warehouse charges whereas no warehouse receipts were given to the investigators. We also found that the accounts of several investors were used without their information and consent for wholesale movement as well as purchases of entire morning trading amounts. These transactions were then truncated,” Sinha said.