It is an incredible amount of money that was burned on the stock exchange within a week and a half: the corporate empire of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has lost more than $120 billion in value since a US investment firm made serious allegations against the 60-year-old. In the meantime, European shareholders and Indian politicians have also become alarmed. An overview of the case:

Who is Gautam Adani?

Adani was born into a middle-class family in Ahmedabad, Gujarat state. At the age of 16 he dropped out of school, moved to the financial metropolis of Mumbai and worked there in the diamond trade. In 1988 he founded his first own company, an import-export company. Adani’s breakthrough came in 1995 when he secured the contract to build a commercial port in Gujarat. The port was the largest in India for a time. Adani later invested in all kinds of industries, from Australian coal mines to Israeli ports, from media to food. Several projects, notably coal mines and the construction of a port, have sparked strong protests from local residents.

Adani’s main company, Adani Enterprises, had gained more than 1000 percent in stock market value in the past five years before the dramatic crash. Meanwhile, the founder has amassed a fortune of $130 billion, making him the richest man in Asia and the third richest in the world, according to Forbes magazine. Unlike many other members of India’s financial elite, Adani is seen as a reserved person. “I’m not a outgoing person who wants to party,” he once said in one of his rare interviews.

What is Adani accused of?

On January 24, the US company Hindenburg Research published allegations of fraud against Adani: He had indirectly invested money in his own shares and thus artificially inflated their price. Adani used his brother’s accounts in tax havens. Hindenburg spoke of “brazen stock market manipulation” that had lasted for decades. The US company is an investment company specializing in short sales, so it speculates on falling stock prices. Adani has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Critics are also concerned about the tycoon’s relationship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is also from Gujarat. There is an accusation that this circumstance helped Adani to make his legendary rise without too much state control – the billionaire also rejected this.

What has happened since the allegations became known?

Investors virtually fled from Adani papers. The massive sales caused the market value of his company conglomerate to collapse by about half; the shares were suspended from trading several times. Adani himself lost about $60 billion and fell to 16th place among the richest people, according to Forbes. Even in India, he is only second behind entrepreneur Mukesh Ambani. Because of the stock market turmoil, Adani Enterprises canceled the issuance of $2.5 billion worth of fresh shares. According to the financial news agency Bloomberg News, several major banks, including Credit Suisse and Citigroup, no longer accept Adani shares as collateral for lending.

Now even the Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman commented on the matter: The Indian financial markets are well regulated and the recent turbulence would not affect investor confidence, she said in a TV interview. The French group TotalEnergies, which has a stake of up to 50 percent in several Adani companies, also felt compelled to comment: The energy giant assured that it was only “limitedly” involved in the group of companies.