OCCRP makes fresh allegations against Adani group

MUMBAI: Following previous claims by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research, which accused the group of dubious business practices, including stock price manipulation, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) a global network of investigative journalists founded in 2006 has made fresh allegations of stock manipulation against Gautam Adani controlled Adani Group.

OCCRP report claims that based on exclusive documents obtained by it, show that purportedly masking the involvement of business partners associated with the Adani family, 'opaque' Mauritius funds were used to funnel substantial investments into the publicly traded stocks of the Adani Group.

The documents OCCRP claims citing a review of files from multiple tax havens and internal Adani Group emails, OCCRP said its investigation found at least two cases where the 'mysterious' investors bought and sold Adani stock through such offshore structures.

OCCRP claims that two men, Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli and Chang Chung-Ling, have longtime business ties to the Adani family and have also served as directors and shareholders in Group companies and firms associated with Gautam Adani's elder brother Vinod Adani, 

The documents OCCRP claims, that the two men spent years buying and selling Adani stock through offshore structures that obscured their involvement and made considerable profits in the process.

OCCRP asked if Ahli and Chang should be considered to be acting on behalf of Adani promoters in other words, whether these men were used as frontmen to bypass rules governing the stock market investments in India by investing hundreds of millions of dollars to fuel the spectacular rise in group stocks during 2013 to 2018.

The Adani Group has outrightly rejected OCCRP's allegations as 'recycled' and labelled the report as an orchestrated effort by interests associated with George Soros, supported by sections of foreign media, to revive the 'meritless' Hindenburg report.

In a statement, the group said, "These claims are based on closed cases from a decade ago when the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) probed allegations of over-invoicing, transfer of funds abroad, related party transactions and investments through FPIs."

OCCRP is funded by organizations including George Soros' Open Society Foundation (OSF) and Rockefeller Brothers Fund. In February this year George Soros, the liberal billionaire, commented on the report on Adani Group by Hindenburg Research raising questions about PM Narendra Modi's ties with Gautam Adani and for not addressing the issue.

Union Minister Smriti Irani had then called Soros’ remark as a war is being mounted against India, with PM Modi standing between it and the country’s interest.


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