NSE co-location scam: CBI arrests OPG Securities’ Sanjay Gupta

Dalip Singh | | Updated on: Jun 22, 2022

Interrogation of Gupta, who figured in the CBI FIR registered in May 2018, to spill beans on the SEBI officials who have connived in the scam

Four years after naming Sanjay Gupta in the FIR, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested him, the owner of the Delhi-based OPG Securities, for allegedly tampering with server architecture of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) for undue gains.

Earlier, the CBI had carried out searches at OPG Securities and nine others following the allegations of benefiting from rigging of the NSE co-location facility in connivance with the NSE’s former CEO and MD Chitra Ramkrishna and her deputy Anand Subramanian. Both, Ramkrishna and Subramanian, are already behind bars.

From 2010 to 2014, said the CBI sources, Gupta along with his brother-in-law Aman Kokrady and NSE officials had compromised tick-by-tick (TBT) server of the NSE. This facilitated OPG Securities to login first to the server and get the data split-second faster than others leading to the unfair advantage, added CBI sources. Gupta is accused of fraudulently managing the NSE’s data centre, which led to wrongful loss to other brokers and investors.

According to agency sources, Gupta’s interrogation is likely to throw up skeletons in the SEBI, since he had allegedly bribed some officials of the regulator to influence inquiry against OPG Securities, for covering up gains.

Murlidharan Natarajan, the CTO of NSETECH, a subsidiary of NSE, was responsible for putting in place the co-location architecture.

Destruction of evidence

The CBI has also learnt that Gupta destroyed electronic evidence by directing his employees to delete important mails, test messages, logs, among others, pertaining to co-location controversy.

The OPG Securities has been illegally trading in Dubai, Ghana, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. Gupta and Kakrady have raised funds from abroad and controls many entities in Dubai which are under the CBI probe and other investigating agencies.

During Ramkrishna's tenure, OPG had connected to the secondary POP server on 670 trading days in the futures and options segment. The CBI is expected to grill on these allegations to find out about preferential access granted to certain brokers by the NSE officials during Ramkrishna and Subramanian's stints forming part of the second chargesheet due in the NSE co-location scam.

In the first, the CBI had focused on Ramkrishna’s act of illegally and aribitrarily appointing Subramanian as the NSE’s Chief Strategic Advisor in January 2013 on a high salary. He was later re-designated, which CBI has said was against the NSE norms.

Published on June 22, 2022
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