Months after a US short seller shook markets with a damning report on the Adani group, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) – an organisation funded by likes of George Soros and Rockefeller Brothers Fund – is said to be planning another ‘expose’ on certain corporate houses in India, sources said.
OCCRP, which calls itself “an investigative reporting platform formed by 24 nonprofit investigative centres… spread across Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, may publish a report or a series of articles, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.
An email sent to OCCRP seeking comments remained unanswered.
Founded in 2006, OCCRP claims to specialize in reporting on organized crime and largely publishes these news articles through partnerships with media houses.
On its website, it identifies the Open Society Foundations of George Soros, a financier with a penchant for funding radical causes around the world, as one of the institutional donors. Others include Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Oak Foundation.
Sources said the ‘expose’ may involve overseas funds investing in the stocks of the corporate house.
The identity of the corporate house wasn’t immediately known but agencies are said to be keeping a tight vigil on the capital market.
Hindenburg Research in a January 24 report alleged accounting fraud, stock price manipulation and improper use of tax havens, triggering a stock market rout that had erased close to USD 150 billion in the market value at its lowest point.
Adani Group has denied all allegations.
In May this year, a Supreme Court-appointed expert committee to investigate claims in the Hindenburg Report stated that there was evidence of a build-up in short positions on Adani Group stocks ahead of the release of the Hindenburg report. Profits were earned from squaring off positions after prices crashed post-publication of the damning allegations.
Financial crime-fighting agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) “found intelligence about potentially violative and concerted selling by specific parties just ahead of the publication of the Hindenburg report, and this may lead to credible charges of concerted destabilisation of the Indian markets, and Sebi ought to be probing such actions under securities laws,” it had said citing a response from ED.
Suspicious trading was observed on the part of six entities. Of these, four are FPIs, one body corporate and one individual, it had said.
Soon after the Hindenburg report, Soros had stated that the turmoil at Gautam Adani’s business empire may weaken Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hold on the government – a statement which was strongly countered by BJP as an attack on Indian democracy.