Amitabh Bachchan And Aishwarya Rai Amongst 500 Indian Names Leaked In Illegal Money Siphoning..!

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According to a report in The Indian Express on Monday, these names, among 500 others, figure on a Panama law firm’s list of Indians who have setup offshore companies in tax havens through the firm’s services.

A huge data leak at Panamanian firm Mossack Fonsecahas revealed that it hid billions of dollars in assets of global politicians, sports stars and entertainers.
The files, called the “Panama Papers” and comprising over 11 million documents from the firm, have revealed names which will shock many.

The problems for Mossack Fonseca, a hitherto unheard of name for the vast majority of Indians and people the world over, began when 2.6 terabyte worth of its confidential data was leak to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).According to the ICIJ, the consortium, together with the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitungand more than 100 other media partners, conducted the investigation into the papers over a period of a year. The conclusion: Information on more than 214,000 offshore companies connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories unearthed.

But what exactly does being an Indian on the list entail?

The Indian Express, a partner in the investigation called “Project Prometheus”, explains: “Some of the Indians floated offshore entities at a time when laws did not allow them to do so; some have taken a technically convenient view that companies acquired is not the same as companies incorporated; some have bunched their annual quota of remittances to subscribe to shares in an offshore entity acquired at an earlier date. Still, some others have received income earned abroad and deposited it in the entity to avoid tax. Some have opened a bank account to keep payoffs in government contracts, or held “proceeds of crime” or property bought with money made illegally in Trusts/ Foundations.”

The report suggests that many of the Indians, featured in this leak and who set up these offshore entities prior to 2013, are likely in violation of the Reserve Bank of India’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme — introduced in February 2004.
According to The Indian Express, the investigation has thrown up the following prominent Indian names: Film star and Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, Bachchan’s daughter in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, DLF owner Kushal Pal Singh and nine members of his family, Chairman and Fouder of Indiabulls group Sameer Gehlaut, industrialist Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, West Bengal politician Shishir Bajoria from West Bengal, former chief of the Delhi unit of Loksatta Party Anurag Kejriwal and the now-deceased Mumbai ganglord Iqbal Mirchi.
The report also mentioned the promoters of Apollo Tyres as being mentioned in the leaked files, but did not reveal any names.

The leaked files and subsequent investigation show that Amitabh Bachchan was appointed director in at least four offshore shipping companies. These companies had been set up in tax havens, with one of them being in the British Virgin Islands and the other three in the Bahamas.

According to the report, the authorised capital of these four companies — Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd in the British Virgin Islands, and Lady Shipping Ltd, Treasure Shipping Ltd and Tramp Shipping Ltd in the Bahamas — ranged from $5,000-50,000 but they traded in ships worth millions of dollars.

The four companies had been registered in tax havens in 1993.

In another report, the Indian Express revealed, that for at least three years, Bachchan’s daughter in-law Aishwarya and her family were part of a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

The Bollywood actress, her father Kotedadi Ramana Rai Krishna Rai, mother Vrinda Krishna Raj Rai and brother Aditya Rai were appointed in 2005 as directors of Amic Partners Limited, a firm with an initial authorised capital of $50,000.

According to the report, internal instructions exchanged between the Panama firm’s staff stated: “One of the shareholders requested to shorten her name from Ms Aishwarya Rai (sic) to Ms A Rai for reasons of confidentiality. The same was mutually agreed and consented by all directos and shareholders.”
Her status was later changed to that of a shareholder and the offshore company was later dissolved in 2008.

Gehlaut, according to the report, acquired at least three top London properties through family owned entities in Bahamas, Jersey, UK, Delhi and Karnal.

According to the report, the leaked files also revealed that DLF’s Kushal Pal Singh acquired a company, called Willder Ltd, in the British Virgin Islands and his wife is a co-shareholder in that entity.

Additionally, at least two other companies were set up by Singh’s family members in 2012, one by son Rajiv Singh and another by daughter Pia Singh. Their close relatives were shareholders in these companies.
The three firms together hold close to $10 million in shares, said the report.

 

The scandal-hit world of soccer has not been spared either. Argentine footballer Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi and former president of the Union of European Football Associations Michel Platini have also had their names come up in the Mossack Fonseca files.
The biggest name associated to the files is that of Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to the ICIJ, the files reveal that close associates, including childhood friends, of Putin “secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies”.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s relatives, including his daughter, also feature on the list. According to the Indian Express, Sharif’s sons Hussain and Hasan Nawaz Sharif, and  daughter Mariam Safdar set up at least four offshore companies in British Virgin Islands and these entities owned six upmarket properties close to London’s Hyde Park.

Chinese Premier Xi Jinping’s brother in-law Deng Jiagui’s name also features on the list along with Mauricio Macri, the current President of Argentina, and Saudi Arabia’s king Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud.

( Courtesy : Business Standard )

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