Endorsing the Gurgaon police claims, the probe team of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) investigating the R400-crore Citibank customer fraud has found that prime accused Shivraj Puri suffered heavy losses by trading in the long-term Nifty options through brokerage companies.
According to senior officials working on the case, the investments are also unlikely to be recovered as tracking the beneficiaries from across the country is not viable.
Retrieving the lost amount could have been possible had the beneficiary been an individual or a small group, sources said. It was probably this finding of the SEBI team that prompted Citibank to announce a compensatory package for its 'affected' customers.
According to highly-placed sources, the SEBI probe team has tracked all transactions carried out by Puri in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) that further paid beneficiaries the money he lost when the Sensex crashed.
Puri was hit hard and lost out significantly when the Sensex fell last November. The SEBI findings are in line with reports carried in HT raising questions if investors would ever get their money back as Puri had conducted forward trading transactions on the falling index.
The two-member SEBI team had set up camp for a week till January 7 in Gurgaon when the Citibank scam came to light. Two parallel panels were tracking the case in Delhi and Mumbai and are expected to submit their report soon.
According to sources, SEBI officials were also probing whether Puri had managed to hack the NSE/BSE system.