NSEL scam: Maharashtra asked to expedite auction of attached assets

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) The Centre has directed the Maharashtra government to expedite auction of attached properties in the National Spot Exchange Ltd. (NSEL) scam so that the money realised may be returned to the investors.

“Action has been initiated by Maharashtra to auction attached properties. The auction of attached properties needs to be expedited and the money realised may be returned to the investors at the earliest,” said a finance ministry statement issued here on Friday.

Promoted by Financial Technologies (India) Ltd. (FTIL) as a commodities exchange, the NSEL suspended trading in 2013 after Forward Markets Commission discovered a fraud of about Rs 5,500 crore. Thed NSEL was found not to have the money or stocks to pay the investors back.

The matter relating to violations of law, criminal offences and default in payments to investors in the NSEL is being investigated by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

The finance ministry has been monitoring the progress of these investigations and held 11 meetings so far in this regard, said the statement.

With the Maharashtra government having issued the fifth notification for attachment of 151 properties worth Rs 358.46 crore, total value of assets attached so far is Rs 6,115.25 crore, it said.

The government had earlier passed an order for the merger of NSEL with FTIL. The Bombay High Court, however, restrained the government from notifying the merger details.

“In the review meeting, the MCA has been asked to take quick action and ensure that the case is handled on priority,” the statement said.

The ED, which had filed a prosecution complaint against NSEL and 67 other accused persons under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA) over money trail amounting to Rs 3,721.22 crore, has been asked to be more proactive, it said.

“FIU-IND has been advised to ensure realisation of penalty of Rs 1.66 crore on the NSEL for non-compliance of PMLA,” the statement said.

SEBI has appointed empanelled auditors to conduct detailed inspection of books of five brokers of the erstwhile Forward Markets Commission, whose names figure in the list of offenders received from EOW, Mumbai police.

“Government of Maharashtra is working on proposals for providing additional manpower for EOW of Mumbai Police which is investigating the NSEL case on an urgent basis,” it said.



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