The federal government has not moved to defend Adani, instead calling on Labor in Queensland to vouch for the proponents of the project.
Company documents suggest Gautam Adani does not ultimately control many of the companies associated with his company’s Australian coal developments. Instead his eldest brother, Vinod Shantilal Adani, holds pivotal positions.
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Vinod has been named in an Indian criminal investigation into the alleged siphoning of $1 billion from Indian shareholders in three Adani companies into offshore accounts.
A web of companies that appear to be linked to Adani’s coal developments in Australia extends from the low tax regime of Singapore to the tax haven of the Cayman Islands.
Complicating matters is conflicting paperwork, with Indian documents suggesting Adani Enterprises divested its stake in Abbot Point port for $235 million in 2013 to a private Singapore entity for which Vinod is the sole director.
But records held by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and annual reports for Adani’s registered Australian companies, continue to name a publicly listed Indian company, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, as the ultimate shareholder for the port.
After the revelations, Greens senator for Queensland Larissa Waters is demanding the government investigate “whether all relevant disclosures have been made to Australian regulators”.
Senator Waters said on Monday: “The federal government needs to urgently investigate who controls the Abbot Point coal terminal and Carmichael coalmine.”
“We’re talking about the biggest coalmine and the biggest coal port that Australia has ever seen. It’s reckless for the government to allow these enormous projects to proceed without even knowing who controls them.”