The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a group of investigative journalists, has dropped a bombshell, uncovering significant investments in Adani Group’s publicly traded stocks through Mauritius-based funds. These “opaque” funds, as OCCRP labels them, seem to hide the participation of business partners closely connected to the Adani family.
While the Adani Group staunchly denies these claims, calling them groundless, let’s dive deep into the revelations from the OCCRP report and see how they align with previous allegations against the conglomerate.
Key Takeaways from the Report:
Spotlight on Mysterious Investors: Reporters have pinpointed Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli and Chang Chung-Ling as the key players who poured hundreds of millions into Adani Group stocks. Their deep-rooted connection with the Adani family is evident, as both have held positions as directors and shareholders in Adani-affiliated companies.
Tracing the Investment Path: Ahli and Chang didn’t just invest directly. They channelled their investments in Adani stocks through offshore entities, all while allegedly taking directions from a company under the control of a senior Adani family member.
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Deep Ties with the Adani Family: The relationship between Ahli, Chang, and the Adani family isn’t new. They’ve been in the spotlight in two government probes concerning the Adani Group, though both investigations ended without any conclusive findings. The report adds that their association with Vinod Adani, a top-tier member of the Adani family, provides further evidence of their ties.
Legal Concerns Looming: The real question is whether Ahli and Chang’s investments were on behalf of the Adani “promoters”. If that’s the case, their combined stake in the Adani Group might breach the 75% insider ownership cap. Such a move could artificially pump up share prices, giving a false boost to the company’s market value.
Echoes of Past Allegations: Earlier this year, New York’s Hindenburg Research threw the Adani Group into turmoil, accusing them of stock manipulation. This claim triggered a sharp decline in Adani’s stock value and spurred an investigation spearheaded by India’s Supreme Court.
Adani Group’s Stance: In response to these fresh allegations, the Adani Group stands firm, dismissing them as mere echoes of Hindenburg’s earlier claims. They stress their unwavering commitment to all legal and regulatory norms.
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