Three senior officials of commodity brokerages IIFL, Anand Rathi and Geojit Comtrade were on Tuesday arrested in connection with the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange scam.
City police's Economic Offences Wing tightened the noose on commodity brokers by arresting Anand Rathi Commodities Managing Director Amit Rathi, India InfoLine Commodities vice president Chintan Modi and Kochi-based Geojit Comtrade's whole time director C P Krishnan for their alleged involvement in the scam, EOW sources said.
The three commodity brokerages could not be immediately reached for comments. The NSEL scam had come to light after the government had on July 31, 2013, ordered the Jignesh Shah-promoted spot exchange to stop trading in some instruments which led to a payment crisis.
Following this, the exchange was forced to suspend trading and eventually down shutters, leaving over 11,000 investors in the lurch.
Police have been probing the role of brokers in the scam for sometime now. Police sources said some other executives of Anand Rathi, Motilal Oswal, Geojit Comtrade and IIFL were already questioned by the EOW.
According to NSEL data, brokers were manipulating client codes to the tune of 3,00,000 times, after the trade was carried out on the exchange and then they transferred the same to other names.
It may be noted that in equities and commodities, changes in client codes are allowed only in a genuine case.
But in this case, changes in client code were effected to transfer profit and loss to launder money. According to market sources, as many as 200 brokers are alleged to have sold NSEL products as investment vehicles by promising an assured return.
After the exchange was shut down and the agencies began to probe the roles of the management and the brokers, the then newly formed NSEL Investors Forum had been demanding an investigation into the role of the brokers.
Following the crisis, many senior officials of NSEL, which is fully owned by the Jignesh Shah-promoted Financial Technologies, including Shah, were arrested. After his arrest in May 2014 and bail in August, Shah, who founded Financial Technologies, stepped down from his position of managing director and chief executive.
As the probe into the case got widened, the regulators declared that Shah was not fit to hold more than 2 per cent stake in any of the over half-a-dozen exchanges he set up and was ordered to merge NSEL with his commex MCX.