New Delhi, February 29: Sebi on Thursday barred 12 entities, including promoter of V Marc India Ltd, from the securities market for engaging in a fraudulent scheme to manipulate volumes and price of the company's shares. Additionally, the regulator impounded wrongful gains of Rs 6.38 crore made by some of the entities from the manipulative scheme, according to an interim order.

This case primarily deals with fraudulent and manipulative trading in the scrip of V Marc India Ltd, listed on NSE's SME segment, prima facie orchestrated by the promoter and company management, along with connected parties. In its order, Sebi, prima facie, found that V Marc's promoter and MD Vikas Garg and Sandeep Kumar Srivastava, former Whole Time Director of the company-- engaged the services of Prijesh Kurani to 'operate the market'. SEBI Bans 10 Guest Experts and Entities Who Appeared on Zee Business News Channel From Market for Share Rigging via TV Show.

It further noted that Kurani, in turn, in addition to using his own and his connected entities' trading accounts, engaged accounts of persons connected to Garg to manipulate the scrip. Further, Garg and the company management channelled funds through their connected entities to Kurani for executing the fraudulent scheme.

The alleged fraudulent scheme was set in motion as soon as the scrip was listed on April 8, 2021. "The impact of this alleged fraudulent scheme is evident in the manner volumes surged and prices increased after which most of the entities -- PV Manipulators-- as well as the IPO subscribers - exited fully. The shares offloaded were purchased by public shareholders leading to the increase in their numbers as well," Sebi said. SEBI Issues Demand Notices to Five Entities in Fortis Healthcare Fund Diversion Case To Pay Rs 5.7 Crore Within 15 Days.

Accordingly, Sebi has restrained 12 entities "from buying, selling or dealing in the securities market or associating themselves with the securities market, either directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever until further orders". Apart from Garg, Srivastava and Kurani, the other entities barred by Sebi are -- Sudhir Gupta, Dharini Kurani, Rekha Kurani, Surbhi Aggarwal, Vinod Vilas Sable, Seema Garg, Madhu Srivastava, Jai Kishorr Singhal and Seema Agarwal.

Sebi's examination which covered the period from April 9-30, 2021, was aided by data obtained from the mobile device of Kurani, seized following the 'search and seizure operation' carried out by the regulator at his residence in May 2022, in the context of investigation into the matter of 'Front Running of Trades of Axis Mutual Fund'.

The data from the device, particularly messages exchanged on WhatsApp involving entities referred to in this order, including a copy of a signed agreement between certain entities, has served as important evidence in this case.