The central probe agency, at a recent review meeting, had informed the Finance Ministry that it was preparing to initiate fresh action for attachment of assets against the accused.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to widen its probe and initiate fresh round of attachment proceedings in connection with its money laundering probe into the Rs 5,600-crore alleged payment crisis scam at National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL).
Officials said the central probe agency, at a recent review meeting, had informed the Finance Ministry that it was preparing to initiate fresh action for attachment of assets against the accused and would also question a number of them based on inputs gathered by its investigators till now.
They said the agency would also file a supplementary charge sheet in the case. Over Rs 600 crore worth of assets have already been attached by ED in this case.
The agency had filed a 20,000-page charge sheet against NSEL and 67 others in a Mumbai court in March last year, explaining NSEL funds were laundered and “illegally plouged into purchase private properties”.
The charge sheet detailed money trail amounting to Rs 3,721.22 crore and the next date of hearing in this case is July 7.
ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2013 to probe the case, along with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police.
After a high-level meeting, chaired by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, early this month, the Centre also directed the Maharashtra government to expedite the resolution of the case by quickly auctioning assets worth Rs 6,116 crore attached so far and refund investors at the earliest.
A statement issued after this meeting said ED has been told that “PMLA is a serious offence and therefore it should be more proactive and take effective action quickly”.
NSEL’s payment troubles started after it was ordered by regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) in July 2013 to suspend spot trade in most of its contracts due to suspected trading violations.
The exchange could not settle the outstanding trades, sparking investigations by the police and regulators to find out whether the exchange had defrauded traders by not enforcing rules requiring sufficient collateral to be set aside.
Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL) blamed NSEL executives and the trading parties for the default. There were 24 members who defaulted payment to about 13,000 investors.