Sebi, ED may Probe Adani for Flout­ing Cus­toms Rules

Co gets show-cause no­tice from DRI, told to ex­plain pur­chase of im­ported equip­ment

The Economic Times - - Economy - DEEPSHIKHA SIKAR­WAR

Mar­ket reg­u­la­tor Sebi, as well as other agencies such as the En­force­ment Direc­torate and the In­come-tax depart­ment are also likely to ex­am­ine al­leged duty eva­sion by com­pa­nies of the Adani Group af­ter re­ceiv­ing ref­er­ences from the agency in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter, the Direc­torate of Rev­enue In­tel­li­gence (DRI), said two se­nior of­fi­cial aware of the mat­ter. The DRI is­sued a show cause no­tice on Thurs­day a day ahead of the elec­tions re­sults and on the day fi­nance min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram checked out of North Block. The no­tice asks the Adani Group to ex­plain why im­ported plant and ma­chin­ery should not be con­fis­cated and penalty should not be levied for vi­o­la­tion of cus­toms val­u­a­tion norms, a source said. Mean­while, an Adani group spokesper­son con­firmed the re- ceipt of a show cause no­tice from DRI. “We have re­ceived the show cause no­tice from DRI. We are eval­u­at­ing the same and would de­cide fur­ther course of ac­tion based on le­gal ad­vice,” said an Adani Group spokesper­son. ET re­ported in its May 17 edi­tion that DRI has served a show cause no­tice, charg­ing Adani Power Ra­jasthan, Adani Power Ma­ha­rash­tra and Ma­ha­rash­tra East­ern Grid Power Trans­mis­sion Com­pany Ltd and its con­trac­tor PMC Projects for al­leged over­va­lu­tion of im­ports worth .` 5500 crore .

While Sebi’s in­volve­ment stems from the fact that listed com­pa­nies may be in­volved, En­force­ment Direc­torate could probe any pos­si­ble vi­o­la­tion of for­eign ex­change and money laun­der­ing laws.

Adani group of­fi­cials have in the past de­nied any wrong-do­ing. They have de­scribed the probe as be­ing po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated, as the Group to per­ceived to be close to the Prime Min­is­ter elect - Naren­dra Modi.

Dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign Congress vice-pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi crit­i­cised a lleged favours re­ceived by the Adani Group in Gu­jarat such as land at cheap rates.

En­force­ment Direc­torate could probe any pos­si­ble vi­o­la­tion of for­eign ex­change and money laun­der­ing laws

Gau­tam Adani, the group’s chair­man, has rub­bished these al­le­ga­tions point­ing out that they had pur­chased land at mar­ket rates over a long pe­riod of time.

The DRI had ini­ti­ated in­ves­ti­ga­tion against the group late last year and largely fo­cused on im­port of equip­ment through what of­fi­cials with the probe de­scribe as a cir­cuitous route by us­ing an in­ter­me­di­ary.

Equip­ment was al­legedly im­ported un­der a scheme that al­lowed duty-free or at con­ces­sional rates by en­tity based in In­dia to for­eign sup­plier.

Goods were then shipped di­rectly to In­dia by the man­u­fac­tur­ers, but documents routed through an in­ter­me­di­ary in UAE. The agency’s claims and in­ves­ti­ga­tion is based on in­voices and funds trans­fer de­tails that showed a higher value of the equip­ment im­ported by the do­mes­tic com­pany while a par­al­lel in­voice is­sued by the in­ter­me­di­ary en­tity to the seller showed lower value.

Gau­tam Adani

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