Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has conducted search and seizure operations at multiple locations across India for unearthing market misconduct, according to an official statement.
In continuation of efforts to unearth market misconduct, Sebi, today, carried out search and seizure operations at the premises of 7 individuals and 1 corporate entity at multiple locations in Ahmedabad & Bhavnagar in Gujarat, Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and Mumbai, Sebi said in a statement.
During the search and seizure operations, officials seized various records and documents including 34 mobile phones, 6 laptops, 4 desktops, 4 tablets, 2 hard drive disks and 1 pen drive from the custody of these persons.
These entities are reportedly operating 9 telegram channels with more than 5 million subscribers to whom they were making recommendations on selected listed scrips, Sebi said, while adding that such recommendations induced the investors to deal in the said scrips, thereby creating artificial volume and price rise.
This provided opportunity to their linked entities to off-load their shares at higher prices and make significant profits at the cost of unsuspecting retail investors, it said.
The data, emails and other documents are being retrieved from the seized devices and a detailed investigation is in progress.
Sebi had received information that messages containing stock tips and other investment advice with respect to selected listed companies are being widely circulated through websites and social media platforms.
In this backdrop, the regulator has once again cautioned investors not to rely on such investment tips advice received through social media platforms. “It is also advised that investors should exercise utmost caution while taking investment decisions while dealing in the securities market.”