‘Top NSEL officials received kickbacks worth crores’
It was not just Jignesh Shah who benefited from the fall of National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL). Top NSEL officials received huge money in kickbacks — illicit payments made in exchange for facilitating transactions — from defaulters, said the complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The complaint stated that Amit Mukherjee, assistant Vice President (VP) – Business Development, NSEL created fake warehouse receipts without the support of adequate physical stock of commodities traded on NSEL platforms.
“He arranged loan facilities in the guise of trading facilities. He received kickbacks from the defaulting members. He was the key management person who perpetrated the fraud with the help of his associates and MD (Managing Director) and CEO (chief executive officer) of NSEL,” reads the complaint.
The complaint lists several transactions and benefits received by the VP, MD and CEO of the company. It states that Mukherjee received Rs 25 lakh under his wife’s name from the Aastha group of companies, whose liability is Rs 186.22 crores. It is alleged that the company paid Mukherjee’s wife to facilitate the flow of funds from the NSEL.
In her statement, Mukherjee’s wife, Bonhi, said a flat in Thane was purchased partly through her savings and partly through the consultancy charges she was paid by the Aastha group of companies.
The complaint states that the Mohan India group paid Mukherjee and his wife Rs 5.02 crores as kickbacks to make the group a member of the NSEL. The Mohan India group tops the list of defaulters, with liabilities worth Rs 843.53 crores. Mukherjee’s wife said she and her husband own a house Mira Road and another in Borivli. They had a Range Rover, purchased through the funds received from Jai Shankar Shrivastava, the director of Mohan India Pvt Ltd.
The Mukherjees’ trip to Bangkok was sponsored by P. D. Agroprocessors LTD, a company accused of defaulting payments worth Rs 420 crores. The complaint states that Rajeev Aggarwal, the ex-CFO of P. D. Agroprocessors LTD booked the trip in April 2013 through a travel agent. Air tickets and hotel charges for this seven-eight-day trip amounted to Rs 7 lakh, which he paid for.
Aggrawal stated Mukherjee booked eight plots, spread over 1,000 yards at the former’s ‘Prime City’ project at Assand, Karnal, Haryana for Rs 10 crores. Payments were received from Ram Awadh Sharma, a driver in his company and Mohan India Pvt Ltd, he said.
The complaint states that Anjani Sinha, the ex-CMD and CEO of NSEL and Jai Bahukhandi, the ex-AVP of NSEL were also responsible for the company’s collapse as they aided and abetted the defaulting members.