Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has ordered impounding of unlawful gains amounting to 14.70 crore from a total of 16 entities, including domestic retail brokerage Sharekhan Ltd in a case of front-running activities.

Front-running refers to a market activity wherein the broker buys or sells shares or takes a similar position in the stocks ahead of large orders given by his institutional clients.

As per the Sebi order, Sharekhan has been directed to deposit 50.94 lakh in an escrow account within seven days failing which the brokerage’s bank and demat accounts will be frozen and it will be restrained from disposing of any of its assets.

The order follows an announcement by BNP Paribas SA of France on Thursday that it had agreed to buy Sharekhan in its entirety. A banker familiar with the transaction put the value of the deal at 2,200 crore.

Apart from Sharekhan, unlawful gains amounting to 14.2 crore will be impounded from 15 other individuals, which include two employees and clients of the brokerage entity. As the alleged gains were made during the period between March 2009 and March 2011, Sebi has levied an interest of 12% per annum from the date on which such profits were earned.

Sharekhan did not immediately reply to an e-mail query from Mint.