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SEBI Bars Proprieter of Fullonoption.com; Promo using WhatsApp, SMS

The Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI), has issued an interim order restraining individuals running the website fullonoption.com (now defunct), and companies India Trading Company, Option & M.C.X King, A to Z solution and Fullon Corporation from buying, selling or dealing in the securities market. SEBI says that their actions are, prima facie, fraudulent.

Fullonoption.com was promoting stock market schemes via SMS and WhatsApp. Messages being sent to prospective customers included:

“My company Indian trading provides tips, 25000 deposit payment profit 30% share. Sir 50000 only investment and 200% sure guarantee call. 1 Re no loss” and “Earn more than 25 to 50 Lakh per month in our Super Jackpot Stock-Mcx- Currency Tips – 9925305293”

These messages also carried certain enticing claims such as:

(a). total profit Rs 9 lakh in Rs 2 lakh capital;
(b). Rs 9 lakh in one month with Rs 50,000/- capital;
(c). earn more than Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh per month in our superjackpot stock – MCX;
(d). Profit Rs 8 lakh in Rs 1 lakh capital;
(e). Profit Rs 18 lakh in Rs 1 lakh capital.

fullonoption.com is no longer active. The companies were using the Gmail email address fulloncorp@gmail.com

The individuals against whom action is being taken are Mansoor Rafiq Khanda and Firoz Rafiq Khanda. SEBI has noted that this case is quite similar to that of another operation it had previously taken action against – RightTrade.in, which we had covered here. The individals named in that case were Imtiyaz Hanif Khanda (Right Trade and Sai Traders) and Vali Mamad Habib Ghaniwala (Bull Trader and Laxmi Traders).

SEBI observes, from the bank statements, that “on several instances deposits have been made into the said bank accounts. These deposits could be towards registration/profit sharing as solicited”, and that “it, prima facie, appears that the entities have been acting as Investment Advisors without seeking registration under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (the SEBI Act) and the SEBI (Investment Advisers) Regulations, 2013 (Investment Advisors Regulations).”

MediaNama’s take

1. Access to information for investigating agencies: This case indicates the importance of documentation and availability of data for security agencies. We, at MediaNama, often argue against collection of identifiable data, but here is an important indication of identification information being linked to mobile numbers and bank accounts, that allows an investigating agency to do its work effectively.

2. New company, same business? Hypothetically, if the proprietors of both companies are related or a part of the same group, then this case indicates how difficult it is for law enforcement agencies to keep such activities in check: setting up a website, a new company, and promoting a business has become easier and quicker. One entity gets banned, another pops up. What’s an investigating agency to do?

– April 2013: SEBI To Issue Guidelines On The Use of Social Media By Companies

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