The ED on Friday conducted raids at multiple locations in connection with its money laundering probe into the alleged irregularities in the National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location case, officials said.
The federal probe agency is covering nine premises in Delhi and neighbouring Gurugram including those of some brokers involved in the case, they said.
The raids are being carried out under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency had registered a money laundering case to probe the alleged irregularities on the basis of a 2018 CBI FIR.
The CBI had recently arrested former NSE managing director and chief executive officer Chitra Ramkrishna and group operating officer (GOO) Anand Subramanian in this case.
They are in judicial custody at present and have been questioned by the CBI too. The Income tax department is the third investigating agency probing the case.
The action by the central agencies in this case was renewed after market regulator SEBI on February 11 charged Chitra Ramkrishna and others with alleged governance lapses in the appointment of Anand Subramanian as the chief strategic advisor and his re-designation as group operating officer and advisor to MD.
Chitra Ramkrishna had appointed Anand Subramanian as his advisor who was later elevated as group operating officer (GOO) at a fat pay cheque of Rs 4.21 crore annually, CBI sources had said.
Anand Subramanian's controversial appointment and subsequent elevation, besides crucial decisions, were guided by an unidentified person who Chitra Ramkrishna claimed was a formless mysterious 'yogi' dwelling in the Himalayas, a probe into her email exchanges during the SEBI-ordered audit had stated.
The ED and other agencies have widened their probe to include the mysterious 'yogi' angle in their probes.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had launched its probe into the co-location matter in early 2015 after it was brought to light by a 'whistle-blower' that some brokers were allegedly getting preferential access through co-location facility, early login and 'dark fiber' which can allow a trader a split-second faster access to data feed of an exchange. As part of this facility, brokers could place their servers within the stock exchange premises giving them faster access to the markets. It is alleged that some brokers in connivance with insiders abused the algorithm and the co-location facility to make windfall profits.
Chitra Ramkrishna got elevated as MD and CEO of the exchange on April 1, 2013 and left the bourse in 2016.
It was during this period that co-location was started by NSE, the CBI has alleged.