The Adani Group is currently the focus of renewed scrutiny by Indian authorities, who are investigating suspicions of inflating the value of coal imports, as reported by Reuters. Legal documents indicate that the authorities have approached the Supreme Court, seeking permission to gather evidence from Singapore. The company is alleged to have impeded this process over the past several years.
Since 2016, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has been actively seeking transaction records linked to Adani's dealings from Singapore authorities. The agency is raising concerns that numerous coal shipments received by the Adani Group from Indonesian suppliers were potentially initially invoiced at higher rates to its Singapore entity, Adani Global Pte, before subsequently being invoiced to its Indian subsidiaries.
Adani Enterprises and its affiliated companies have consistently used legal avenues in India and Singapore to prevent the release of the documents, according to court records. Adani refutes any wrongdoing, asserting that Indian authorities thoroughly evaluated its coal shipments before their release from ports.
Officials had earlier contested Adani's claim that the agency failed to follow 'due process.' In their submission, they clarified that they possessed the required approval to seek information from the Southeast Asian city-state under a mutual legal assistance treaty.
The attempt to revive the coal probe coincides with broader regulatory scrutiny of Adani following accusations by Hindenburg Research earlier this year, alleging tax haven misuse and stock manipulation.
The revenue agency, as part of a broader 2014 investigation into 40 companies, examined Adani's imports, alleging overinvoicing of Indonesian coal shipments through intermediaries in Singapore. In court filings, Indian authorities claimed Adani 'grossly overstated' coal import values, potentially siphoning funds to tax havens and inflating power prices in India, with sums involved reaching billions of rupees.
India is pursuing evidence from Singapore, specifically transaction documents from 20 of Adani's banks, to trace financial activity in the coal import case. Approval from India's Supreme Court is required, followed by a subsequent order from Singapore's Court of Appeal for document release. The prolonged legal struggle between India and Adani, spanning Mumbai, New Delhi, and Singapore, has entailed procedural hurdles, appeals, and document retention. The investigation is at a standstill, and the next hearing, following a two-year gap, is set for February 6.