The directorate of revenue intelligence has accused the Indian conglomerate Adani Group of financial fraud around Rs 1,500 crore alleging that it inflated invoices for an electricity project in India to shift huge sums of money into offshore bank accounts.
The revenue authorities alleged that Adani group had ordered equipment worth several hundred millions for an electricity project in Maharashtra using a shell company in Dubai, which had sold the same equipment back to the Adani Group at highly inflated prices.
The Adani Group is expecting a legal decision in the “near future” in connection with allegations, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
Details of the alleged 15bn rupee (US$235m) fraud are contained in an Indian customs intelligence notice obtained by the Guardian. The documents reveal a money trail from India to Dubai through South Korea and finally to an offshore company in Mauritius. The shell offshore company is allegedly controlled by Adani Group Chief Executive Officer Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, who is also 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 fully denies the accusations, which it has challenged in submissions to the authority.
“All our transactions are always conducted within the framework of extant regulatory guidelines and provisions,” it said in a statement to The Guardian. “