EOW initiates first step to attach FTIL properties

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In a major blow to the Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police has begun the process of securing the company’s properties worth Rs 2,000 crore. This effectively means that the FTIL cannot sell the properties as the next step would be the attachment of these properties, police sources said.

According to sources in the EOW, since FTIL was the ‘front’ of the scam-hit National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL), their properties came under the police’s scanner. “It has been told to FTIL authorities that their properties worth Rs 2,000 crore have been secured and since the police have secured the properties, they should not do any transaction or dealing of the said properties,” said S Jayakumar, deputy commissioner of police, EOW.

Explaining the process, another EOW officer said, “The government will now issue a Government Resolution (GR) to get the properties attached, after which the attachment process will be initiated. The information has also been given to the court and the Competent Authority. After the court order, the Competent Authority will initiate the process to liquidate the properties and the proceeds of these properties will be given to the victims, in this case, investors. It is a long drawn process and the first stage has been initiated by securing the properties.”

The EOW sources said that the FTIL assets included movable and immovable properties, investments, mutual funds and bonds. “FTIL has a property worth Rs 280 crore in Andheri, vehicles, office space, computer and office materials too that have been secured,” the official said.

“We have received a letter from EOW dated 18/7/2016 on Tuesday, securing assets of FTIL. 63 Moons is a listed company having 63000+ shareholders and about 1000+ employees. We will take all legal remedies to protect their interest. There is no legal basis for the said action and we will be moving court soon on the said letter,” said Devraj Uchil, vice president (communications), 63 Moons Technologies Ltd (formerly FTIL).

The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Monday had rejected Enforcement Directorate’s plea for an extension of five days custody for FTIL promoter Jignesh Shah and remanded the latter to judicial custody till August 1. On July 12, ED had arrested Shah in the NSEL commodity exchange fraud. Shah has been moved to Kalyan jail and is expected to soon approach the PMLA court to apply for a bail.

The scam came to the light after EOW received a complaint in September 2013, from one Pankaj Saraf, who later formed the NSEL investors’ forum, alleging that the company is duping its investors. The FIR stated that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to defraud the investors and induced them to trade on the platform of NSEL by creating forged documents like bogus warehouse receipts thereby defrauding the clients. During the investigation, the EOW unearthed alleged scam of Rs 5,600 crore. The EOW had later arrested Jignesh Shah among others. In January 2014, the EOW had filed a chargesheet in the case in the court. The accused were chargesheeted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and also under certain provisions of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act.