Mumbai cops grill Jignesh Shah for 7 hrs

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 26 2013, 07:36am hrs
Jignesh Shah, NSEL, NSEL crisisJignesh Shah after his questioning by the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police in connection with the NSEL scam. PTI
The Mumbai police on Friday questioned Jignesh Shah for nearly seven hours for his alleged role in the R5,600-crore settlement crisis at the National Spot Exchange (NSEL). Shah, who heads Financial Technologies-India (FTIL), which owns NSEL, was questioned in the presence of people who have already been arrested on charges related to forgery and criminal breach of trust.

According to senior officials probing the matter, Shah was questioned in the presence of Anjani Sinha, former MD & CEO of NSEL, to verify some of the statements made by the latter related to the books of accounts of the exchange. Sources add that a chartered accountant on behalf of the police was also present.

When people are called individually to record their statements, they often say things that are unverified and they even blame each other. We had recorded the statements of Jignesh Shah and Anjani Sinha separately. In custody, Sinha has said that Jignesh is responsible (for the crisis) and that he was in the know of the happenings. Sinha has spilt the beans, so we thought it was important to question Shah as confrontation irons out a lot of issues, said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime).

Senior officials of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) also confirmed that while Shah was allowed to go home after the questioning, he would be called again in a day or two. Officials say that the coming days could also see some of the other board members being called in for interrogation.

We interrogated Jignesh Shah since morning around 11.30 am and, then, permitted him to go back. He may be called again. There were certain revelations made by persons whom we have arrested and we wanted some clarifications. That is why he was called today, said Rajvardhan Sinha, assistant commissioner of police (EOW).

This is the first time that Shah has been called for questioning by the police after key arrests were made. Till date, apart from Anjani Sinha, former NSEL staffers Amit Mukherjee and Jai Bahukhandi and Nilesh Patel (MD of NK Proteins) have been arrested. On Friday, Patel was also called for interrogation along with his books of accounts.

Police are also working on the applicability of the stringent Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (In Financial Establishments) Act, 1999, and have started the process of verifying the assets of all the accused named in the FIR, including Shah.

NSEL godowns not regulated properly, says food minister

New Delhi: Lack of proper supervision at the troubled NSEL-accredited godowns led to irregularities and the R5,600-crore payment crisis at the bourse, food minister KV Thomas said on Friday.

We have burnt our hands in the NSEL case... None of the warehouses accredited with NSEL was registered with the WDRA and were not even properly regulated, said Thomas. You are aware that large-scale irregularities have been reported in the operations of the NSEL, Thomas said at a foundation day function of the Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA).

Jignesh Shah-led National Spot Exchange (NSEL) is facing problems settling R5,600 crore of dues to 13,000 investors after the bourse suspended trading in some contracts in July on directions from the government. Three former NSEL officials have been arrested by the Mumbai Police.

Thomas said the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), the commodity markets regulator, has been instructed to make it mandatory for all warehouses accredited with spot and futures exchanges to get registered with the WDRA. PTI