Front-running unearthed at Reliance Sec; SEBI bars 27

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 12, 2020

SEBI has barred 27 entities connected to dealers of Reliance Securities (RSL) for front running. SEBI said it had unearthed a major front running case by some individual RSL dealers and entities linked to them, who were playing on prior access to buy and sell orders by Tata Absolute Return Fund.

SEBI’s internal surveillance system-generated front running alerts against one Meena Ramnilal Vira in December 2019 and January 2020 for suspected front running. These alerts referred to suspected front running of trades of Tata Absolute Return Fund, a scheme of Tata Alternative Investment Fund. SEBI followed it up with examination of KYC details, call data records, social media posts and Facebook connections of the suspected individuals and entities to probe relationships between various entities under its scanner in the matter.


“The order by the alleged front runner was placed (directly or indirectly) in advance of the big client order, while in possession of the non-public information. It is prima facie found that Harshal Vira, Bhavesh Gandhi and Abhijeet Jain were privy to the information with respect to the impending orders of the big client as they were the dealers (at RSL).”

SEBI found that Meena Ramnilal Vira was the mother of Harshal Vira, a dealer at RSL and all the other entities who were front running too were connected.

SEBI found that the trading pattern showed deployment of BBS (Buy-Buy-Sell) and SSB (Sell-Sell-Buy) strategies, the typical modes of front running.

SEBI has barred all the 27 entities from markets till further directions. The regulator is now studying their assets.

Published on August 11, 2020

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