India’s Security markets regulator SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) has sent a formal request to the Department of Telecommunications to include the board in the list of law enforcement or investigating agencies which can seek e-mail and call records from telecom service providers, reports The Hindu Business Line. This list already includes agencies like the CBI and the IB. In a written reply to a question in the Parliament’s lower house, Minister of state for Finance, Namo Narain Meena informed about the said request. The board feels that the move will help in curbing the flow of black money into the stock market.
In 2009, during the clamp down on the promoters of struggling theatre retail firm Pyramid Saimira, SEBI had tracked down the cellphone locations of a journalist and a PR executive, to establish their involvement in the scam.
At the moment, brokers and other financial services providers report suspicious trading activities to the government’s Financial Intelligence Unit, which escalates them to national and international investigation/intelligence agencies, to check money laundering.
Previously, SEBI had cautioned investors about investing on the basis of SMS based tips, and more importantly,warned brokerage houses about their employees using blogs, Messaging services and forums to offer unsolicited tips to investors. There were also reports that the board intended to approach TRAI to put a ban on unsolicited stock tips over SMS.