Anil Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar, Kiran Shaw and other Indians named in the Pandora Papers leak
- The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has announced
Pandora Papers, a leak that consists of offshore dealings routed through tax havens across the globe.
- The list includes hundreds of Indians, dozens of whom are prominent and already under investigation by Indian authorities.
- Here’s everything we know so far about the Indians involved in Pandora Papers.
The Ministry of Finance took note of the revelations made in the Pandora Papers leak today evening. "The relevant investigative agencies would undertake investigation in these cases and appropriate action would be taken in such cases as per law," stated a press release issued by the ministry.
An official spokesperson of India's Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has said that the revelations of the Pandora papers will be investigated. As per a statement to ANI, a team consisting of representatives from CBDT, Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India and Financial Intelligence Unit will soon begin the investigation. The investigation will be headed by the Chairman of CBDT.
It is worth pointing out that while many of these investments routed through offshore firms are done with the objective of tax avoidance and maintaining secrecy, some of them are legitimate and declared to the relevant authorities in India.
That said, here’s everything we know so far about the Pandora Papers leak and the Indians named in it so far:
Over 300 Indians in Pandora Papers leak
According to an Indian Express report, there are over 300 Indian names in the Pandora Papers leak, including over 60 prominent ones. The report adds that these will be corroborated and revealed in the coming days. These are some of the people named in the reports.
The beleaguered brother of India’s richest person has found his name in the papers, accusing him of setting up 18 offshore firms that have borrowed and invested $1.3 billion, one of which shares a promoter firm that owns Reliance Capital listed in India.
“The Reliance Group conducts business globally and for legitimate business and regulatory requirements, companies are incorporated in different jurisdictions,” a lawyer on behalf of Anil Ambani told the Indian Express.
Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar had reportedly set up a firm way back in 2007, which was liquidated in 2016, valued at roughly $8.6 million.
According to the CEO and Director of the Sachin Tendulkar Foundation, these investments are legitimate and declared in Tendulkar’s tax returns.
His sister, Purvi Modi, set up a trust in the British Virgin Islands a month before he fled in January 2018. She has been named accused in a $2 billion money laundering case filed against Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia has reportedly set up a dozen firms, conducting her offshore transactions through Sanjay Newatia, a former Credit Suisse banker.
An Indian Express report suggests that her name is linked to a dozen offshore firms, an allegation which Radia declines and states “accurate disclosures have been made to all relevant authorities.
Gandhi family friend Satish Sharma
A Gandhi family friend and former Congress leader, Satish Sharma set up a trust in 1995 when he was the Petroleum and Natural Gas minister. He also set up another trust in 2015 when he was a Rajyasabha member.
Sharma was the protector of both, the Jan Zegers and JZ II trusts, and his wife a beneficiary. In a response to The Indian Express, Sharma’s wife, Sterre Sharma, noted that these trusts were set up to “manage his assets and pass on his inheritance” to the listed beneficiaries.
Cox and Kings’ Ajit Kerkar
Ajit Kerkar, now in jail, set up two trusts in the British Virgin Islands in 2010 and has connections with at least half a dozen offshore firms set up between 2010 and 2016.
Most of these firms were reportedly set up by Kerkar and Shyam Maheshwari, who is a partner at Ares SSG group, an investment firm. The trusts set up by Kerkar are guarantors for loans amounting to $79 million.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Her husband, a British Citizen, has reportedly set up an entity that holds 19.76% in Biocon, and has $85 million in various assets, including cash and real estate. Glentec is registered with RBI and SEBI, Shaw reportedly said, in response to queries raised by the Indian Express.
Not all investments are illegitimate
AdvertisementWhile some of the investments made by the people reported in the Pandora Papers leak could have been done to avoid taxes, they are not illegitimate if the required disclosures have been made to the relevant authorities.
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