The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched a preliminary inquiry (PE) against three companies promoted by billionaire Gautam Adani for allegedly overvaluing power equipment imports by Rs. 5,500 crore.
The CBI has been brought in to probe the case after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which has been investigating the case for three years, reportedly found that the three firms — Adani Power Maharashtra, Adani Power Rajasthan and Maharashtra Eastern Grid Power Transmission Company — had imported power equipment worth Rs. 3,580 crore for an inflated sum of Rs. 9,048 crore from China and South Korea.
The difference of Rs. 5,468 crore, the DRI contended, had been siphoned off by Electro Gen Infra, a UAE-based firm connected to the group.
The Adani Group declined to comment on the development and did not to respond to a questionnaire sent by HT.
In the run-up to the recent Lok Sabha election, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal had alleged that the Adani group chief was close to the then Gujarat chief minister (and now PM) Narendra Modi and had received undue favours from his government.
Read: Govt to check if Rahul told Jayanthi to act against Adani
However, a source said, the PE may have been launched in May, before the results of the Lok Sabha polls were announced.
The allegedly over-valued equipment had been financed by the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce, said the source.
On May 16, the DRI had slapped a Rs. 5,468-crore show cause notice to the group for allegedly over-invoicing imports. The show cause notice has been shared with the CBI.
The Ahmedabad-based conglomerate has interests in ports, energy, infrastructure and import and exports in India, Australia and Indonesia. The group is the largest coal importer in India, one of the largest power producers and also operates the largest private port in the country.