New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday alleged that Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani has a “central role” in the Adani Group and asked whether India’s “all-powerful agencies” will investigate allegations of “round-tripping and money-laundering” by offshore shell companies connected to their family.
Posing a set of three questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of the party’s “Hum Adani ke Hain Kaun” series, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in its January 29 response to “serious allegations” against Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, the Adani Group had tried to distance itself stating that he does not hold any managerial position in any Adani listed entities or their subsidiaries and has no role in their day-to-day affairs.
“Yet more and more revelations are coming out about Vinod Adani’s central role in the Adani Group,” Ramesh said, adding that this has led the Congress to also start a sub-series on the allegations against Adani — “Dikh Raha Hai Vinod”.
“The PM (prime minister) can keep recycling all his old abuses against the Congress but he cannot escape getting three pointed questions daily on his role in the Adani Maha Mega Scam,” Ramesh tweeted and posted his questions to the prime minister.
Recently, Adani Group stocks had taken a beating on the bourses after US-based short seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, against the business conglomerate whose chairman is Gautam Adani.
The group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.
In a statement, Ramesh said the Adani Group had filed various memoranda with stock exchanges stating that the group means “S B Adani Family Trust, Adani Properties Private Limited, Adani Tradeline LLP, Gautam Adani, Rajesh Adani, Vinod S Adani.” “Now we learn that a March 18, 2020 letter from the Adani Group to the Registrar of Companies in Ahmedabad said that: ‘Mr. Vinod S. Adani, Promoter of the Company, has informed change (sic) in significant beneficial interest…,” Ramesh alleged in the statement posted on Twitter.
This letter was signed by the Adani Enterprises Company secretary and joint president (legal) Jatin Jalundhwala and clearly shows Vinod Adani to be a key player in Adani Group affairs, he claimed.
“Will this hard evidence finally lead India’s all-powerful agencies to investigative allegations of round-tripping and money laundering by Vinod Adani’s offshore shell companies? Or will you continue to protect your close friend and accept his laughable fig leaf of a defence,” Ramesh asked the prime minister.
Five investment funds linked to Vinod Adani’s close associate Jayechand Jingree accounted for 11.3 percent of anchor investor subscriptions in the Rs 20,000-crore Adani Follow-On Public Offer (FPO) that ultimately failed, Ramesh alleged.
“Like Vinod Adani, Jingree is a former director at the Mauritius-based Adani Global, a subsidiary of Adani Exports that was renamed Adani Enterprises in 2006. He is also reported to have connections with fugitive stockbrokers Ketan Parekh and Dharmesh Doshi,” the Congress leader claimed.
Like some selected FPO investors, were these funds also illegally forewarned that the FPO would be canceled and that their investments were being made only to save the Adani Group’s face, Ramesh asked.
Are these seeming manipulations by related parties not worthy of serious investigation, he asked.
“A sixth Mauritius-based fund, The Great International Tusker Fund, that invested in the anchor investor round, has directors who are co-directors in other firms with Vinod Adani and Subir Mittra who heads the Adani Family Office. There are news reports that SEBI is investigating some of these funds, but we are concerned that they will go the same way as previous investigations into Adani Group wrongdoing have gone i.e. nowhere,” Ramesh said.
Can the prime minister assure Indian investors and citizens that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) “will take concrete steps this time rather than engage in a token investigation to cover up for your friends”, he asked.
Ramesh called on the Prime Minister Modi to break his “silence” on the issue.