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DRI Wants To Re-open Probe Into Adani Group Related Suspected Coal Imports Scam

DRI has requested the Supreme Court to allow them to collect evidence from Singapore and other destinations

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The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has sought permission from India's Apex court to start investigations against the Adani Group, news reports said. DRI is seeking to investigate the overvaluation of coal imports by the Adani Group. The Financial Times had reported last month that over the past two years, Adani used intermediaries in Taiwan, Dubai and Singapore to import $ 5 billion worth of coal at prices that were at times double the market price.

DRI has requested the Supreme Court to allow them to collect evidence from Singapore and other destinations. DRI had actually started its probe against the Adani group in 2014 for over-invoicing. In 2019, Adani had told the Bombay High Court that there were procedural lapses in the DRI probe, which led to the quashing of the agency's request to collect the evidence.

Reportedly, the DRI has been trying to collect details of transactions related to the Adani Group's dealings from Singapore authorities as it suspects many of the group's coal shipments imported from Indonesian suppliers were first billed at a higher price on paper to its Singapore unit, Adani Global Pte, and then to its Indian arms.

"Permission for following this route was obtained from the Ministry of Finance as well as (the) Ministry of Home Affairs," the 25-page filing in SC said. "The investigation is completely in compliance," DRI told the SC.

Adani Group maintains that it has "fully co-operated" with the authorities by providing details and documents sought more than four years ago and that "no deficiency or objection" was communicated by investigators thereafter.

India-Singapore share cordial bilateral relations. The courts in Singapore so far have denied media requests to check the records related to the Adani group companies. Last month, the Singapore court declined requests from Reuters to look into related case documents, saying in written responses that the files were sealed.

A report in the Financial Times in October 2023 said that it had examined 30 shipments of coal from Indonesia to India by an Adani company over 32 months between 2019 and 2021. In all cases, prices in import records were far higher than those in corresponding export declarations. During the journeys, the value of the combined shipments unaccountably increased by over $70mn.

Tags assigned to this article:
Coal Imports Scam