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  • SEBI to get new powers to access call data records of fraudsters abroad

SEBI to get new powers to access call data records of fraudsters abroad

The new regulations will aid in cross-border cooperation and help catch market manipulators in a foreign country.

Security regulator body SEBI might soon have the power to access the Internet and call data records of fraudsters in any country and even freeze their overseas assets. Regulators all over the world depend on these kind of technology-based records to prove information passage by using subscriber records and traffic data, and these often help them take action against such individuals.

Till now, SEBI had the power to obtain call data records from companies within India, except for the actual conversations. However, these additional powers will now allow it to act directly in instances where people manipulate the market through insider trading and fraudulent trades. In order to obtain the powers, SEBI will have to convert from the existing Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information (MMoU) to the Enhanced MMoU or EMMoU, which was passed by IOSCO. IOSCO is the highest international that sets regulations for security markets, and SEBI is a member of the same. It was only last week that IOSCO approved the new enhanced standard that would aid in cross-border co-operation.

Beside call data, SEBI will also be able to obtain audit work papers and related information regarding audit or financial account reviews. SEBI will also be able to pressurise defaulters to appear in person for the testimony by levying penalties for disobeying, and even freezing the person’s assets. This would help SEBI in cases where the person resides in a foreign country.

Apart from this, it is also possible to share internet and telephone records with the help of a prosecutor, court, or other authoritative figure. However, for the actual content of the communications, the regulators would still need to get in touch with the authorised bodies. 

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