Ex-CFO Shashidhar Kotian arrested in NSEL scam

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Ex-CFO Shashidhar Kotian arrested in NSEL scamMUMBAI: The economic offences wing of the city police, probing the Rs 5,600-crore NSEL scam, has arrested Shashidhar Kotian, the former chief financial officer of the now-shuttered commodities spot exchange, a senior official said.

Kotian was arrested in connection with the scam and was produced before a court Friday, which remanded him to police custody till January 28, an official said. The agency sought his remand on the ground that they have come across from fresh facts and need to confront with the same.

The NSEL scam refers to the payment crisis driven by the physical absence of the commodities against the invested money. As many as 13,000 investors have claimed losses after the trading platform faced a payment crisis, forcing the government to order its shuttering.

The crisis broke out on July 31, 2013 and since then ownership of the company was taken away by the government and regulators from original promoter Jignesh Shah.

On December 27, 2018, the Mumbai police filed charge sheets against 63 entities– 27 individuals and 36 companies.

Companies named as accused in the chargesheet include NSEL, 63 Moons Technologies (the present company Shah owns after the ownership of his flagship Financial Technologies was taken away from him), India Bullion Market Association; commodities brokerages like Anand Rathi Commodities, Geofin Comtrade and India Infoline Commodities among others.

Several other companies who also defaulted on paying back investors have also been named as accused in the chargesheet which lists cheating, criminal conspiracy under IPC and several sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Investors and Depositors Act and includes a statement of 520 witnesses and details of 509 bank accounts.

Earlier in 2014, the police had filed a chargesheet against six individuals and subsequently against NSEL founder Jignesh Shah who was arrested on May 7, 2014 and is now out on bail.