DRI Seeks Permission to Resume Probe into Adani Group Over Alleged Coal Import Overvaluation: Report

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is seeking approval to reopen an investigation into the Adani Group regarding suspected overvaluation of coal imports. According to a report by Reuters, the investigative agency has approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to gather evidence from Singapore.

Since 2016, the DRI has been attempting to obtain transaction documents related to the Adani Group's dealings from Singaporean authorities. They suspect that numerous coal shipments imported from Indonesian suppliers by the group were initially invoiced at inflated prices to its Singapore unit, Adani Global Pte, before being billed to its Indian arms.

Despite the DRI's efforts, court documents reveal that Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises and its subsidiaries have successfully contested legal challenges in both India and Singapore, preventing the release of these documents.

In an October 9 legal filing, the DRI urged the apex court to nullify a previous lower court ruling that permitted the Adani Group to obstruct authorities from collecting evidence from Singapore.

The Adani Group, on its part, has refuted any wrongdoing, asserting that Indian authorities thoroughly evaluated its coal shipments before their release from ports.

Adani Enterprises' shares were trading at Rs 2,227.30, showing a 1.01% increase at 9:50 AM on Friday.

Contrary to Adani's claims that the agency disregarded "due process," the DRI stated in its filing that it had obtained authorization to request information from Singapore under a mutual legal assistance treaty. The 25-page filing emphasized that the investigation is entirely compliant and had received approval from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Responding to media query, the Adani Group stated that it had "fully cooperated" with authorities by providing details and documents requested over four years ago, asserting that no deficiencies or objections were communicated by investigators thereafter.

According to the report, the DRI began scrutinizing Adani's imports in 2014 as part of a broader investigation involving 40 companies. The agency alleges that companies importing Indonesian coal were inflating deliveries by presenting invoices for shipments routed through intermediaries in Singapore and other locations.

Indian authorities, through court filings, have reviewed 1,300 shipments involving Adani Group companies. They alleged that the companies "grossly overstated" or "artificially inflated the import value of coal" compared to the export value from Indonesia, purportedly with the aim of diverting funds to tax havens and levying higher power prices in India.

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