Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must order an investigation into the Adani Group after a report claimed that two individuals who opaquely pumped in millions of dollars into the conglomerate have close ties with its promoters.

The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project published a report on Thursday alleging that Chang Chung-Ling from Taiwan and Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli from the United Arab Emirates invested large sums of money through “opaque” investment funds based in Mauritius. This money was subsequently used to trade shares of four Adani companies between 2013 and 2018.

The allegations from the report, for which The Financial Times and The Guardian collaborated with OCCRP, raise questions about the possible violation of Indian stock market rules.

On Thursday, Gandhi cited the report and said that at the very least, Modi should call for a Joint Parliamentary Committee investigation into the allegations.

“We are trying to show the world that we are a transparent economy, we are trying to show the world...that India has a level-playing field,” the Wayanad MP said. “Why is one gentleman who is close to the PM of India allowed to move billions of money to pump up his share price to use that money to capture Indian assets, airports, ports?”

Gandhi asked why the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre was not investigating the conglomerate. “It is very important that the Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi clears his name and categorically explains what is going on.”

The Congress leader said the allegations also lead to questions about national defence, as Adani is a stakeholder in India’s defence companies, ports and airports. He said that the reports raise a serious question against Modi just before the G20 summit next week, and damage India’s global reputation.

Earlier in February, the politician had questioned Modi’s ties with Gautam Adani in Parliament after American investment firm Hindenburg Research alleged that the Adani Group was pulling off the “largest con in corporate history”. Hindenburg claimed that the conglomerate was involved in accounting fraud, improper use of tax havens, and money laundering.

At the time, Gandhi had questioned the massive rise in the business fortunes and personal wealth of Gautam Adani since Modi came to power in 2014.

After the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014, the existing rule that only one company or a person with experience in airports be given the responsibility of developing airports was changed, and six airports were handed over to Adani, Gandhi had told the Lok Sabha. He also alleged that India’s foreign policy was being tailored to benefit the billionaire.

What does the report say?

The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project said that while there was no evidence that Chang and Ahli’s money for their investments originated from the Adani family, there is proof that their trading in Adani stocks “was coordinated with the family”.

Arun Agarwal, a stock market specialist and transparency advocate, told OCCRP that it is illegal for any company to hold over 75% of its shares.

“When the company buys its own shares above 75%… it’s not just illegal, but it’s share price manipulation,” Agarwal added. “This way the company [creates] artificial scarcity, and thus increases its share value and thus its own market capitalisation.”

Chang and Ahli have had longtime business ties to the Adani family and have served as directors and shareholders in the Adani Group companies. They are also associated with Vinod Adani, the elder brother of group chairman Gautam Adani.

The value of their investments in Adani Group stock stood at $430 million (3,552 crores) at one point in 2017, the report said. The report has raised questions about the possible violation of the Securities Contract (Regulation) Act, which stipulates a minimum 25% public shareholding in listed companies.

At the peak of their investment, Ahli and Chang alone held between 8% and 13.5% of the free-floating shares of four Adani companies, according to OCCRP.