The Indian customs intelligence has accused the Adani Group of embezzling around Rs 1,500 crore to offshore accounts by submitting inflated bills related to an electricity project.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has alleged that the conglomerate had ordered equipment worth several hundred millions for an electricity project in Maharashtra using a shell company in Dubai, and that the company had sold the same equipment back to the Adani Group at highly inflated prices, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
Details of the 97-page document, obtained by the publication, reveal a money trail from India to Dubai through South Korea and finally to an offshore company in Mauritius, which is allegedly controlled by Adani Group Chief Executive Officer Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani.
It may be noted that Vinod Adani is the director of four companies that have proposed to construct a railway line and expand a coal port in connection with the Adani Group’s Carmichael mine project in Queensland, Australia. The Adani Group is currently in the process of trying to gather public funds to develop the mine, which has faced legal obstacles and intense opposition from environmental activists.
The DRI has alleged that a major portion of the money the Adani Group siphoned off to offshore accounts included loans from the State Bank of India and ICICI Bank. But the agency did not accuse either lender of any illegal activity.
The Adani Group has “strongly denied the allegations of overvaluation”.“All our transactions are always conducted within the framework of extant regulatory guidelines and provisions,” it said in a statement to The Guardian. “The Adani Group is aware of the investigations being conducted by the DRI and has fully cooperated, and shall continue to cooperate, with the investigating agencies.”