Hindenburg Research asked 88 questions to Adani. Here are a few of the choicest ones, none satisfactorily answered in the 413-page Adani response:
1. Gautam Adani’s younger brother, Rajesh Adani, was accused by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of playing a central role in a diamond trading import/export scheme around 2004-2005. He was subsequently arrested twice over allegations of customs tax evasion, forging import documentation and illegal coal imports. Given his history, why was he subsequently promoted to serve as Managing Director at the Adani Group?
2. Gautam Adani’s brother-in-law, Samir Vora, was accused by the DRI of being a ringleader of a diamond trading scam and of repeatedly making false statements to regulators. Given his history, why was he subsequently promoted to Executive Director of the critical Adani Australia division?
3. As part of the DRI investigation into over-invoicing of power imports, Adani claimed that Vinod Adani was “not at all having any involvement in any Adani Group of companies”, except as shareholder. Despite this claim, a pre-IPO prospectus for Adani Power from 2009 detailed that Vinod was director of at least 6 Adani Group companies. Were Adani’s original statements about Vinod, made to regulators, false?
4. (Q 9) What is the extent of the Adani Group Companies, and any Vinod Adani related entities’ dealings with Jatin Mehta?
5. (Q 10) A once-related party entity of Adani called Gudami International, headed by close Adani associate Chang Chung-Ling, invested heavily in one of the Monterosa funds that allocated to Adani Enterprises and Adani Power. Monterosa entities continue as key Mauritius shareholders in Adani companies. What is Adani’s explanation for this large, concentrated investment into Adani listed companies by a related-party entity?
6. (Q 12) A former trader for Elara, a firm with almost $3 billion in concentrated holdings of Adani shares, including a fund that is 99% concentrated in shares of Adani, told us that it is obvious that Adani controls the shares. He added that the structure of the funds is intentionally designed to conceal their beneficial ownership. How does Adani respond?
7. ALSO (Q 13) Leaked emails show that the CEO of Elara had dealings with notorious stock manipulator Dharmesh Doshi, partner of Ketan Parekh, even after Doshi became a fugitive for his alleged manipulation activity. How does Adani respond to this relationship, given that Elara is one of the largest “public” holders of shares of Adani?
NOTE: Elara is supposed to have been among the firms that ‘subscribed’ to the now withdrawn Adani FPO, as per allegations made by Forbes.
8. (Q 52) Another secretive Mauritius entity called Growmore Trade and Investment netted an overnight U.S. $423 million gain through a stock merger with Adani Power. According to court records, Growmore is controlled by Chang Chung-Ling, an individual who shared a residential address with Vinod Adani and had been named in DRI fraud allegations as director of a key intermediary entity used to siphon funds out of Adani Enterprises. What is the explanation for this windfall gain to an opaque private entity controlled by a close associate of the Adani family?
Also read: Adani unites Opposition
9. (Q 54) Listed Adani companies have paid INR 63 billion to private contractor PMC Projects over the past 12 years to help construct major projects. A 2014 DRI investigation called PMC Projects a “dummy firm” for Adani Group. Given that constructing major projects is Adani’s business, is PMC Projects in fact just a “dummy firm”?
10. ALSO (Q 56) Newly revealed ownership records show that PMC Projects is owned by the son of Chang Chung-Ling, the close associate of Vinod Adani mentioned above. Taiwanese media reports that the son is “Adani Group’s Taiwan representative”. We found pictures of him literally holding an Adani sign at an official government event, where he represented Adani. Once again, is PMC projects a mere “dummy firm” for Adani, as earlier alleged by the government?
-By India Legal Bureau