SEBI bars former CNBC Awaaz anchor Pradeep Pandya for fraudulent trading activities

Pandya, who used to host a show on CNBC Awaaz, had recently joined ET Now Swadesh, which launched yesterday.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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The Securities and Exchange Board of India, or SEBI, has barred former CNBC Awaaz anchor Pradeep Pandya and five others from the securities market for indulging in fraudulent trading activities, Indian Express reported.

Earlier this year, SEBI had barred another anchor from CNBC Awaaz.

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Pandya was the host and cohost of various shows at the channel until August 2021. According to news reports and his tweets, Pandya had joined the Times Network’s Hindi business news channel, ET Now Swadesh, which launched yesterday.

According to Express, SEBI, in an interim order, "directed impounding Rs 8.4 crore-worth proceeds from the fraudulent trades".

The other five individuals and entities barred along with Pandya are Alpesh Furiya, Manish Furiya, Alpa Furiya, Alpesh Vasanji Furiya HUF and Manish V Furiya HUF. Alpesh Furiya appeared on CNBC Awaaz as a guest/external expert, and gave stock recommendations on his Twitter account.

In its order, SEBI said that it had been prima facie determined that Alpesh Furiya and the connected entities had employed a scheme to conduct fraudulent/unfair trading based on advance information of material unpublished information.

Express reported: "SEBI noted that the broad modus operandi was to execute trades, both BTST (Buy Today Sell Tomorrow) and intra-day while prima facie, taking unfair advantage of having unpublished information."

SEBI reportedly found a "strong correlation" between Pandya's recommendations on his CNBC Awaaz show and trades by Alpesh Furiya and related entities. The regulator analysed Pandya and Alpesh Furiya's call data records, noting that the former was “uniquely placed to have access, in advance, to the information pertaining to the recommendations.”

Pandya and Alpesh Furiya were also directed to “cease and desist” from undertaking, directly or indirectly, any activity related to giving investment advice, selling or buying recommendations, publishing of research reports related to the securities market through any media, until further directions.

The Network18 Group, of which CNBC Awaaz is a part, issued a statement after the regulator's order. It said:

"The Network18 Group, of which CNBC Awaaz is a part, has a detailed code for dealing in securities by employees with access to price-sensitive information. The code forbids short-term trading and speculation. It mandates that such employees own securities for at least six months and lays down detailed guidelines for disclosure of holdings. Mr Pandya resigned from our organisation in August. His actions, as detailed in the SEBI order, would constitute a clear violation of our code as well as Network18’s ethical standards. We will continue to provide all possible assistance to SEBI authorities."

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