Adani-Hindenburg Case: Sebi requests OCCRP for documents, refused

The documents requested are ones that the OCCRP had previously referenced n a report on the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate. However, OCCRP has declined to provide the documents to Sebi

Livemint, Written By Jocelyn Fernandes
Updated18 Oct 2023, 10:27 AM IST
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Adani Group is seen on the facade of its Corporate House on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Adani Group is seen on the facade of its Corporate House on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo(REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo)

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has approached the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) for "key documents," as per an Economic Times report quoting sources. The request comes as the market regulator is facing challenges in gathering information for its investigation into the Adani-Hindenburg matter, it added. 

The documents requested are ones that the OCCRP had previously referenced n a report on the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate. However, OCCRP has declined to provide the documents to Sebi, the report added.

The OCCRP is a network of investigative reporters supported by entities like the United States Department of State and George Soros.

The moves

Sebi's move precedes the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the case. The regulator reached out to OCCRP after the investigative journalism group released a report on August 31, alleging that the Adani conglomerate routed funds to foreign individuals to invest in its own shares through Mauritius-based platforms.

"Sebi did contact OCCRP seeking key documents from our investigation. However, our long-standing policy is not to provide any documents beyond what we publish ourselves," as per a statement by the OCCRP.

OCCRP also pointed out that advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing one of the petitioners in the Adani-Hindenburg case, has access to some of the documents. The organization noted that Bhushan had tweeted a key document on September 1, revealing that Sebi was warned by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in 2014 about alleged stock manipulation, the report added.

The DRI alert from January 2014, sent to former Sebi chairman UK Sinha, accused Adani of siphoning off money by overvaluing power equipment imports and investing them in listed companies via entities in Mauritius and Dubai.

Background

Sebi, in its submission to the Supreme Court, highlighted challenges in establishing the economic interest of shareholders linked to certain foreign portfolio investors in Adani companies, located in tax havens. The regulator is still working on gathering details from five overseas jurisdictions.

The Adani Group has consistently denied the allegations, asserting that it is a victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by international entities and short-sellers. The group emphasised that show-cause notices issued by the DRI were quashed by the courts.

Despite challenges in obtaining information from foreign jurisdictions, Sebi has not responded to queries. 

The OCCRP report in August, based on internal emails and files from tax havens, alleged that investors used Adani Hindenburg offshore structures to trade Adani shares, following the instructions of a senior member of the Adani family. These allegations surfaced after a January report by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research, which triggered a decline in the group's shares.

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First Published:18 Oct 2023, 10:27 AM IST
HomeCompaniesNewsAdani-Hindenburg Case: Sebi requests OCCRP for documents, refused

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