Circulars containing the "United Nations Security Council's Taliban and Al-Qaeda sanctions list" have been issued by Sebi to depositories and stock exchanges, which in turn have asked other market entities, including brokers, to take note of these updated lists and "ensure compliance with the same".
When contacted, senior officials and top market executives said there have been no major instance of any entities linked to these groups having been found to be trading in the Indian markets in the recent past, but that the regulations and global standards require a constant vigil for such cases.
The latest circular in this regard was issued by Sebi to the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) on 7 July, wherein the regulator had "informed the exchange about changes that have been made to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda sanctions lists".
Similar circulars have recently been issued to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), and to the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) and Central Depository Services Ltd (CDSL). The first list comprises individuals, as well as entities and other groups and undertakings associated with Taliban, while the second list consists of those associated with Al-Qaeda.
These lists were last updated on 26 June, as per these circulars, and consequently various market intermediaries have been now informed about the updated lists. Among others, the Al-Qaeda list includes the name of Dawood Ibrahim, India's most wanted person. Those on these lists also include the Harkat-ul Jihad Islami (HuJI) and the Global Relief Foundation.
Under the Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) obligations, Sebi has told all registered market entities that "before opening any new account, it will be ensured that the name/s of the proposed customer does not appear in the updated sanctions lists of the UN Security Council".
"Further, it has been directed that registered intermediaries shall continuously scan all existing accounts to ensure that no account is held by or linked to any of the entities. Full details of accounts bearing resemblance with any of the individuals/entities in the list are required to be intimated to Sebi and the FIU-IND (Financial Intelligence Unit of India)," a Sebi circular stated.
Those figuring in these lists are required to be subjected to various sanctions, such as freezing of assets/accounts and denial of financial services.