The Economic offences wing (EOW) of Mumbai Crime branch, which is investigating the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) scam, believe that brokers play a major role in the Rs 5,600 crore scam. According to EOW officials, brokers provided wrong information to investors about the availability of the warehouses and the stock. However, EOW, during its investigation, found out that there were no such stocks available at the warehouses and some of the warehouses did not even exist.
"As per the statement given investors, the brokers had assured them that they have personally verified the availability of the goods in the NSEL warehouses. However, when we started our investigation, we came to realize that the brokers had provided wrong information to these investors," said an officer from EOW on condition of anonymity. The brokers also seemed to have created fake warehouse receipt issued by the NSEL which was handed over to the investors assuring them that the goods were delivered, verified and valued at a certified warehouse.
The investigation also brought to light that the brokers acted as clearing and forwarding agents of the goods. Hence, the brokers had direct information about the commodities and despite knowing that there were no goods, they kept the investors in dark. One of the investors also stated before EOW that after the scam was unravelled, a broker assured him that there was enough stock in the warehouse and there was no need to panic. "The brokers, who were hand-in-glove with the borrowers, manipulated the ledger account. We carried out thorough investigation into the various forgeries and bogus documents created by the brokers to safeguard their interest," said an officer privy to the investigation.
When Additional Commissioner of Police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha was contacted, he said, "We are in the process of collecting evidence, and as far as the brokers are concerned, appropriate action will be taken at the right time by the police."