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Panama Papers: Two months after Adani brother set up firm in Bahamas, a request to change name to Shah

by April 5, 2016 General

Months after the formation of the Adani Group’s flagship company Adani Exports Limited — now Adani Enterprises Limited — in 1993, industrialist Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Shantilal Shah Adani set up a company in the Bahamas in January 1994.

Vinod looks after the Adani Group’s overseas operations and his son Pranav is a director of Adani Enterprises Limited.

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Corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca’s records, accessed by The Indian Express, show that GA International Inc was incorporated in the Bahamas by Vinod S Adani on January 4, 1994.

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Vinod and his wife Ranjanben were its two directors and held equal stake in the company through a bearer share each. Mossack Fonseca was appointed the registered agent.

Within two months of incorporation, Mossack Fonseca records show, GA International’s administrator Falcon Management Limited (Isle of Man) wanted to correct “the spelling” of Adani to Shah.

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In July, 1995, GA International Inc sought to rename itself Agri Exports Limited. But the plan fell through because the proposed name was too similar to an existing international business company (IBC).

On April 24, 1996, Ranjanben resigned and Rakesh Shantilal Shah, according to the records, was appointed director in GA International Inc.

Adani Group documents of 2009 show Rakesh S Shah as director in three group companies — Adani Power (Overseas) Limited (UAE), Adani Global FZE (UAE) and Chemoil Adani PTE Limited (Singapore) — along with Vinod S Adani, and one of the promoter group shareholders in Adani Enterprises Limited.

According to Mossack Fonseca records, GA International Inc formally resolved on September 23, 1996 that Vinod Shantilal Adani wished to be known as Vinod Shantilal Shah. The records duly corrected all documents, backdating since 1994.

In August 26, 1997, Mossack Fonseca received a request from one Fortress Management Ltd (Isle of Man), seeking details of the beneficial owner, directors and shareholders of GA International Inc. The company instructed the firm not to “release any information”.

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On April 20, 2005, Vinod and Rakesh signed a resolution, replacing Mossack Fonseca with Overseas Management Company (Bahamas) as registered agent. The transfer was completed on July 21, 2005.

During its 11-year stint as the registered agent, Mossack Fonseca was asked by GA International Inc to issue Certificates of Incorporation and Good Standing on several occasions.

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In company records, the address for Vinod, wife Ranjanben and Rakesh was “C/o NR Doshi & Co, PO Box 13742 Deira (Dubai) UAE”. On their website, N R Doshi and Partners describe themselves as “auditors, business consultants and tax advisors”.

When The Indian Express sought comments, both Vinod and Rakesh Adani declined to respond.