Over a hundred victims of the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) scam on Tuesday afternoon visited the office of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police and appreciated the action taken by the police in the case so far. Crime branch chief Himanshu Roy has assured the victims that 75 percent of the scam money is secured with the government and justice will be done.
The victims, including women, had gathered outside the stone building of the crime branch. They were shouting slogans against the perpetrators of the alleged scam and were requesting the police to initiate the process of returning money of the investors at the earliest.
In a 10-minute interaction with the victims, Roy said, “Assets worth Rs4,300 crore have been attached by the police during investigation, and I hope to recover 100 per cent of the victims’ money, with interest. Rs270 crore in the form of cash has already been returned to small investors, who had invested less than Rs5 lakh with NSEL. Around 5,000 of the 14,000 victims are satisfied with the police probe.”
Reacting to one of the questions raised by an investor as to why promoter of NSEL, Jignesh Shah, wasn’t arrested by the EOW, Roy said, “There are certain strategies that we work on before making arrests. Right now, the priority was to ensure that the victims are catered to and the operatives of this scam were held.”
Another victim said that the police need to have better coordination with the public prosecutor so that the case is presented well in the court, to which Roy agreed.
A single mother broke into tears while interacting with Roy and said she had invested lakhs of her hard earned money in NSEL and pleaded the police to release it. Reacting to this, Roy said that in coming days, the investors will see further action from the police.
“The crime was committed over a period of time and the investigation of such cases takes time. I know people have had a bad Diwali last year, but I assure you all that this Diwali won’t be the same. I would like to inform you that over 70 per cent of the money (including attached properties) is safe with the government,” said Roy, requesting the victims to be patient.
Background of the case
On September 30, 2013, one of the investors had filed an FIR against the directors and key management persons of NSEL for cheating, forgery, criminal breach of trust and conspiracy. The FIR stated that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to defraud the investors and misrepresented that they were investors and induced them to trade on the platform of NSEL by creating forged documents like bogus warehouse receipts thereby defrauding the clients.
The EOW on Monday a filed chargesheet in the court against five persons under various sections of the IPC and also under certain provisions of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act.The EOW now plans to apply to court for liquidation of the seized assets. “We will give compensation on a pro-rata basis,” said Roy.