(JTA) — Gautam Adani, the Indian billionaire at the center of allegations of stock market manipulation and fraud, bought Haifa’s port days before the allegations surfaced.
On Wednesday, Haaretz reviewed Adani’s purchase of the port in the Israeli coastal city, in light of allegations made by Hindenburg Research, which described Adani as “pulling the largest con in corporate history” in a Jan. 24 report. Hindenburg, a firm that publishes reports detailing evidence of corporate fraud, accused the Adani Group of “a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.” The New York City-based firm was founded by Nathan Anderson, who is Jewish.
Adani, who formally marked the sale on Jan. 31 with a handshake with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, paid $1.18 billion for the port, 55% more than the closest bid, Haaretz reported. The sale had been completed on Jan. 10. Netanyahu hopes the cash influx can help advance his plans to create a rail link between the port and Saudi Arabia.
The prime minister has said that he wants to bring Saudi Arabia into the Abraham Accords, the normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries. Adani was on board.
“Privileged to meet with @IsraeliPM @netanyahu on this momentous day as the Port of Haifa is handed over to the Adani Group,” Adani wrote on Twitter on the day of the handshake. “The Abraham Accord will be a game changer for the Mediterranean sea logistics.”