After the arrest of NSE former managing director and chief executive Chitra Ramakrishna and former COO and advisor to MD Anand Subramanian, the agency has directed its attention to the brokers and traders allegedly involved in the case, said people aware of the matter.
Searches were carried out at 10 locations linked to brokerage firms and trading houses in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Gandhinagar, Kolkata and Delhi, they said. These included Delhi-based brokerage OPG Securities, which has been named in the agency’s first information report (FIR). “The questioning of these brokers and traders is important to understand if a level playing field was offered to everyone at the bourse or was the facility extended only to a few for any consideration or bribe to former NSE officials under scanner or their associates,” said one of those cited above.
The official said investigations will help pin down the chain of conspiracy, when asked if the searches will yield results.
‘Part of the Chain’
The case was registered in 2018 and the period under review is 2010-14. “The focus of the probe is to find out irregularities caused at the bourse because of the said facility and quantum of the scam,” he said. “Brokers and traders are a part of this chain.”
More people are likely to be arrested soon. “The probe has indicated their role and they aren’t coming out clean on the allegations… their arrests seem to be imminent,” said another senior official. The agency has also received information from the Income Tax (I-T) Department on its probe into the matter, said the people cited above. “The I-T probe has elaborated the role of the 10 brokerages and two foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) who could have benefited out of the facility,” he said. “They are being probed for asset purchases through tax havens, funding holidays and investment in firms linked to those under probe.”
The investigation has so far revealed that between 2010 and 2014, when Ramkrishna was at the helm of NSE, OPG Securities had connected to the secondary POP server on 670 trading days in the futures and options segment. A post office protocol or POP server is used to retrieve email.