The Mumbai police on Monday filed a 9,600 page chargesheet in the Rs. 5,600 crore National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) payment scam in the special Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act court.
The chargesheet was filed against the five accused arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), an elite agency of the Mumbai police probing the case.
Amongst those chargesheeted are the company’s CFO , Mr. Anjani Sinha, two vice presidents – Mr. Amit Mukherjee and Mr. Jay Bahukhundi and two borrowers of the beleaguered NSEL- Mr. Nilesh Patel, Managing Director, NK Proteins and Mr.Arun Sharma, film financer and chairman of Lotus Refineries. While NSEL founder Mr.Jignesh Shah has been shown as an accused but he has not been chargesheeted so far. Sources in the Mumbai police say that they might file a supplementary chargesheet against the remaining accused who are yet to be arrested in the near future.
The accused have been chargesheeted under various sections of the IPC and also under certain provisions of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act.
On 30th September, one of the investors had filed an FIR against the directors and key management persons of NSEL for cheating, forgery, criminal breach of trust and conspiracy. The FIR stated that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to defraud the investors and misrepresented that they were investors and induced them to trade on the platform of NSEL by creating forged documents like bogus warehouse receipts thereby defrauding the clients.
According to the chargesheet, Mr. Sinha was the kingpin who masterminded the multi crore scam. Mr. Bahukhundi , Assistant VP , Warehouses, created a web of false stocks of commodities and generated bogus bills . Police claims that he received kickbacks to the tune of Rs. 5 crore . Mr. Mukherjee , Assistant VP, Business Development ,got many of the default borrowers and generated fake warehouse receipts .Mr. Mukherjee is alleged to have received a kick-back of Rs. 12 crore.
The police have so far recovered Rs. 4,449 crores which amounts to 80 percent of the scam money through attachment of properties of the accused. The police has also sought from the court under section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure ( CrPc) the power to continue with its investigations.
“Our priority is to return the money to the investors. Five percent of the money has already been returned to the investors on pro rata basis. There are more people on the radar and we are still in the process of investigating the case,” said Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Mumbai, Mr. Himanshu Roy.
“Mr. Shah has been questioned around three times in the past and we will call him for questioning in the future too. We want to build a water tight case against the other accused and therefore we aren’t rushing into arresting anyone who is on our radar,” added Mr. Roy.
The police are now planning to quiz the brokers who allegedly helped NSEL. “There are 200 brokers of which we suspect 30-35 assisted NSEL in the scam. The next task is to question all of them and then zero down on who are guilty of wrong doing,” sources in the Mumbai police told The Hindu.
Mohan India, another borrower in the case had moved the court seeking relief from prosecution on the ground of paying its share of the money. “Two cheques of Rs. 50 crore in total were generated by Mohan India last month, both have bounced. We will give the company some reasonable time to honour them and if they fail to do so take a legal recourse,” added sources.