ISLAMABAD - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan is striving to curb unlawful/illegal business activities in the capital market and to safeguard the interests of the public and practising a zero tolerance policy. Recently the SECP received an anonymous complaint alleging operation of an illegal brokerage house by Muhammad Tahir Ismail, s/o Muhammad Ismail in Al-Hamad Market, New Sadiq Bazar, district Rahimyar Khan.

It was alleged that the above-mentioned person along with other accused person are illegally engaged in the business of broker agent while impersonating himself to be the representative of two brokerage houses for fraudulent activities and were defrauding the public through deception, fraud, and false representations in sale and purchase of securities.  On receipt of the complaint, the SECP made initial probe through its officer and found substance in the compliant. Therefore, in exercise its powers vested under section 139 of Securities Act, 2015, read with all the enabling provisions of the SECP Act, 1997, the SECP ordered investigation against Muhammad Tahir Ismail, and other person involved therein. Keeping in view the sensitivity of the matter and to protect investors and the public, the SECP, on an urgent basis, dispatched the investigation team Thursday night from Islamabad under supervision of a senior officer to take necessary action.

On Friday, the investigation team reached Rahimyar Khan early in the morning, and after obtaining search warrants from relevant magistrate raided the premises, where illegal broker-agent business was being conducted. The raid was conducted with the assistance of local administration and police officials and the SECP team seized all relevant record and data pertaining to unlawful activities and sealed the premises. Further investigation in the matter is being carried out and prosecution will be filed against all found involved. It is pertinent to mention here that under the Securities Act, 2015, the violation of sections 134, 135 and 136 carries punishment of three years along with fine of two hundred million or both.

This is the first time that the SECP has taken such unconventional enforcement action and that too in a very remote area of Pakistan. This demonstrates the SECP resolve to eliminate the menace of fraudulent and manipulative practices in capital market for transparent growth of capital markets in the country. The SECP is determined to take all enforcement actions in future as well, and with enhanced powers. It is poised to play an effective role as an integrated corporate and capital sector regulator of Pakistan.