Social media helps crack cases: Madhabi Puri Buch

Social media helps crack cases: Madhabi Puri Buch
SEBI chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch brought to light certain unknown facts about the SEBI's role and functions at the CBI's Chintan Shivir. Photo by Shubh Bhardwaj

By Shubh Bhardwaj
SEBI Chairperson addressed CBI officials as the Indian Investigative Agency marked its Diamond Jubilee on the 3rd of April.
Madhabi Puri Buch, the first woman chairperson of SEBI, shared her insights at the CBI's Chintan Shiver's 1st-panel discussion titled "The Labyrinth of Bank Frauds and Ponzi Schemes."
Puri said the world of crime is evolving and developing new ways of deceiving the authorities.
SEBI was founded on April 1, 1988, and is headquartered in Mumbai to regulate the securities market and protect the interest of investors.
She said that in previous years, criminals would make shell companies and entities in the names of family members. "As when you do a fraud profit is pretty much guaranteed. Today crime is being committed in the name of an entity totally unrelated to the mastermind," she said.
She also highlighted several misconceptions among government officials and the public about the jurisdictions of SEBI and its authority.
She said, "Banks have RBI, Telecom has TRAI, so to think that SEBI is actually responsible for solving all the financial and revenue-related frauds is factually wrong.”

Challenges faced by SEBI
She listed some of the challenges that SEBI faces while performing its duties. This includes, the fact that people work on a commission basis and thus are difficult to track. "These culprits create a maze of transactions through shell companies and shelf companies," she said.
Unlike other investigative agencies, SEBI never interferes with a company's management. Due to the pool of private entities, SEBI is unable to track them properly.
Sometimes, even SEBI becomes helpless and frustrated as daily there emerge new ways of committing financial crimes.
One of the major challenges that SEBI faces is that a majority of time gets wasted cutting through red-tape, she said.

The way ahead
With investment in modern technology, SEBI has severely changed its ways.
Now SEBI also uses analysis from social media and other sources to crack down on crimes. This is also how SEBI tracks insider trading.
With the change in regulation and recognition of new modus operandi tracking crimes would be easy.
With the right recruitment and promoting of the right people to investigate, SEBI can get ahead of this fast-moving fraud world.
She ended on a high note quoting what a media channel once reported about SEBI ‘SEBI ki nazro se bachna mushkil hi nahi naa mumkin hai'.
(The writer is a Semester IV student of BA (Journalism and Mass Communication) programme.)

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