Continuing its attack on the Adani Group as part of the “Hum Adani ke Hain Kaun” (HAHK) series, the Congress on February 28, 2023 asked if “all-powerful” agencies will investigate allegations of “round-tripping and money laundering” by offshore shell companies that are allegedly connected to Gautam Adani’s elder brother, Vinod Adani.
In a fresh set of questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that in its January 29 response to “serious allegations” against Mr. 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,” Mr. Ramesh said, adding that the Congress had now been prompted to start a sub-series — “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,” tweeted the Congress leader while tagging his two-page statement.
In the statement, he 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 an 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...,” the Congress leader said.
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, Mr. Ramesh added.
“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,” he asked the Prime Minister.
The Congress communication chief claimed that five investment funds linked to Mr. Vinod Adani’s close associate Jayechand Jingree accounted for 11.3% of anchor investor subscriptions in the ₹20,000-crore Adani Follow-On Public Offer (FPO) that ultimately failed.
“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,” Mr. Ramesh alleged.
He asked like “some selected FPO investors, were these funds also illegally forewarned that the FPO would be cancelled and that their investments were being made only to save the Adani Group’s face”.
“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,” Mr. Ramesh said.
Asking the Prime Minister to break his silence, he added: “Can you assure Indian investors and citizens that the SEBI [Securities and Exchange Board of India] will take concrete steps this time rather than engage in a token investigation to cover up for your friends?”