The Central Bureau of Investigation has instituted a preliminary enquiry into alleged irregularities and subsequent non-payment of refunds to the tune of Rs.5,600 crore by the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) to hundreds of investors.

The move comes days after the CBI’s Economic Offences Wing in Mumbai received several complaints from the NSEL investors alleging that they had been cheated by the Exchange, which is promoted by Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies. After the trade on the Exchange was suspended on a government directive, it failed to refund the money due to 148 members and brokers representing 13,000 investors. The crisis befell after 24 buyers or members failed to pay the amount to the Exchange. CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said: “We have registered a preliminary enquiry to look into all aspects comprehensively.”

Another official said the CBI asked the Exchange promoters to produce all the related documents for scrutiny.