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.
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.
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 also mentioned the promoters of Apollo Tyres as being mentioned in the leaked files, but did not reveal any names.
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.
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 )