All about Vinod Adani, the wealthiest NRI who was once named in Panama and Pandora papers

Vinod Shantilal Adani is the older brother of Gautam Adani and was also named during an investigation into over-valuation of imports for which the Adani Group received a clean chit this year.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, September 23, 2022, 05:56 PM IST
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Hurun India

India’s collectivist culture is a product of its family-oriented society, and is reflected in politics, business and even entertainment where dynasties rule. More than 90 per cent firms listed in India are family-owned businesses, and they account for almost 80 per cent of the GDP. The Adanis are no exception, as Gautam Adani’s elder brother has become the wealthiest NRI, while he is eyeing the top spot in the global rich list.

Taking different paths

Vinod Shantilal Adani started off with a textile business like his father in the 70s, before his brother chose to venture out into the diamond trade in the 80s. He moved to Dubai in 1994, and from there the elder Adani manages the trading business with operations in Singapore and Jakarta. By minting Rs 102 crore every day, Vinod Adani, also known as Vinod Shantilal Shah, added Rs 37,400 crore to his wealth in the past year, which is a 28 per cent increase. Apart from being the wealthiest non-resident Indian, the older Adani sibling is also sixth on the list of richest Indians, topped by his younger brother.

Fair share of controversies

In 2021, the Pandora Papers, which exposed owners of offshore firms and hidden bank accounts used for money laundering and corruption, revealed that Vinod Adani had set up a firm in the British Virgin Islands, a known tax haven. While the Adani group said it had no access to “personal finance matters” of Gautam Adani’s older brother, Vinod Adani reportedly told The Indian Express that the business has been closed down.

Further back in 2017, Dubai-based Electrogen Infra FZE controlled by Vinod Adani was named by the DRI, as an intermediary used by Adani Group to import over-valued equipment into India. The group got a clean chit in the case from the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, last month.

Before Pandora, in 2016 Vinod Adani was also named in the similar Panama Papers which showed that he opened a firm in another tax haven of Bahamas in 1994. Two months after that, Adani changed his name to Vinod Shantilal Shah. The Adani Group had then distanced itself by stating that Gaurant Adani’s older brother had his own business established abroad and had been an NRI for 30 years.

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