Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Police attach FTIL chief Shah’s assets

Jignesh Shah

Freeze Properties Worth 192Cr In NSEL Probe

 

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The city police’s economic offences wing (EOW) on Tuesday attached properties, froze shares and sealed a bungalow and a row house of Jignesh Shah, chairman of Financial Technologies (FTIL) group.     The attached properties are worth about Rs 192 crore, police said.
 
    Rajvardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of police, said that over a period of time the EOW has attached properties of more than eight accused in the Rs 5,600-crore cheating case. “We have seized 1.2 lakh shares of Jignesh Shah that were in FTIL. The estimated value of these shares is around Rs 179 crore. Besides this, our teams have also sealed his Juhu bungalow, a row house at Aarey Colony (worth Rs 78 lakh), a plot in Pune worth Rs 1.6 crore, shares worth Rs 51 lakh in India Energy Exchange, and FDs worth Rs 11.8 crore in a private bank. Plus, five demat accounts have also been frozen,” Sinha said. He added, “Shah earned Rs 160 crore by way of dividend from FTIL.”
 
    He said that the police have also attached two flats in Andheri belonging to Joseph Massey and shares worth Rs 19 lakh in MCX.    Moreover, four flats and shares of another director have also been sealed. A bungalow belonging to Shankarlal Guru in Ahmedabad has also been sealed. 

    The police have so far ar
rested five accused in this case: Amit Mukherjee, Jai Bahukhandi, Nilesh Patel, Anjani Sinha and Arun Kumar Sharma. Police are now likely to summon Shah in the next few days for questioning. Earlier, police summoned some people for inquiry and later arrested them.
 
    Till date, the EOW has frozen 322 bank accounts that contain Rs 171 crore, attached 206 properties worth about Rs 2,580 crore, seized 15 highend cars worth Rs 5.8 crore, and have frozen shares and investments amounting to Rs 229 crore.
 
IN THE NET
What Mumbai Police’s economic offences wing has done:
Seized Jignesh Shah’s 1.2L FTIL shares worth around 179cr (he earned 160cr in dividend from FTIL) Sealed his Juhu bungalow, an Aarey Colony row house (worth 78L), a
Pune plot ( 1.6cr)
    Attached his India Energy Exchange shares ( 51L), FDs ( 11.8cr) and froze his five demat accounts
    Two Andheri flats belonging to Joseph Massey and his MCX shares ( 19L) have also been attached
 
 
Lotus’s 250cr oil stock doesn’t exist
Mumbai: Here’s another example of how borrowers on the crisis-ridden National Spot Exchange (NSEL), who owe thousands of crores to investors, took them for a ride. Lotus Refineries, a company that owed about Rs 250 crore to NSEL investors and has defaulted in paying them, has disclosed to the exchange as well as sector regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) that it has 44,586 tonnes of palmolein oil worth nearly Rs 250 crore stored at a facility.   However, the fact is that the said facility has a storage capacity of only 400 tonnes of oil — that is, a hundredth of what Lotus Refineries is claiming to have stored there.

 
    Sarda Agro Oils, in whose facility Lotus Refineries claims to have stored the oil, has filed a police complaint and has also taken Lotus Refineries to court for forgery and cheating, a top official of the company said.
 
    Lotus Refineries promoter Arun Kumar Sharma has been arrested by the police for his role in the NSEL scam and could not be contacted. Another top official of Lotus Refineries did not reply to TOI’s message for the company’s views on this.
    Soon after news of the NSEL scam broke in August this year, the bourse had declared Lotus Refineries as one of the 24 defaulting borrowers of NSEL. Subsequently, NSEL also started the process to recover funds
and stocks from all the borrowers.
 
    On its part, Lotus Refineries not only defaulted on payment, it also made a counter-claim of Rs 2,773 crore from NSEL and moved the Bombay high court. However, last month, the economic offences wing of the city police arrested Sharma, who is also a Bollywood producer, for his role in the NSEL scam.
 
    Sarda Agro has also sent a mail to NSEL, detailing that Lotus Refineries mentioned the former’s Kakinada factory as its warehouse address where the stock pile of palmolein oil is stored. “We are not aware of any transactions between Lotus Refineries and NSEL, Mumbai, and there is no stock of Lotus Refinery in our factory premises,” it wrote in the mail.
 
    The official at Sarda Agro also said that it had no knowledge why Lotus Refineries used the address of its storage facility to disclose to NSEL for oil it claims it owns.
 
    The company clarified that it has not entered into any transaction with Lotus Refineries and, without its knowledge, consent and/or any agreement, the defaulting company had put its name on NSEL’s website.
 
    “All our dealing with Lotus Refineries was about two years ago, for an order worth Rs 25 lakh. I think the people who came to take delivery of the consignment must have surveyed our storage facility and they used the same to dupe investors,” the official said.
 
EMPTY CLAIMS
    
Lotus Refineries is one of the 24 defaulting borrowers named in the Rs 5,600cr NSEL scam
    The company, owing Rs 250cr to NSEL investors, claimed it had over 44,000 tonnes of palmolein oil worth that amount
    It informed both NSEL and FMC that this oil stock was at Sarda Agro Oils’ Kakinada warehouse facility
But the said facility has a 400-tonne capacity and Sarda Agro has filed a police complaint, saying it doesn’t have any stock of Lotus
Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images


The Times of India, December 4, 2013

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