New Delhi: 475 India-related files linked to corporate personalities across sectors, such as mines and metals, electronics, real estate, media and entertainment have been supplied to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ICIJ), revealing that Indians have parked funds in Bahamas as well, in addition to Panama.
A report in The Indian Express says that 5 months after the Panama Papers revealed details of Indian entities who had stacked money in the tax haven, incorporation details of more than 175,000 companies, trusts and foundations registered in Bahamas have been leaked.
The 475 India-related files have also figured in the Panama Papers global investigation, said the report.
Indian names figuring in the Bahamas Leaks include Anil Agarwal of the Vedanta Group; Kabir Mulchandani of the erstwhile Baron Group who had tie-ups with Akai, Aiwa and Hitachi electronics, Fashion TV India promoter Rajan Madhu, and Aman Gupta, chairman and chief executive of premium Finnish water brand Veen Waters.
Several names mentioned in the Panama Papers are also mentioned in the Bahamas Leaks. Thus, the two sets of data intersect at several points, uncovering hidden layers of offshore secrecy, said the report.
Unlike the Panama Papers, in which 11.5 million emails, contracts, audio recordings and other documents from one law firm, Mossack Fonseca are included, the information listed in the new Bahamian documents has only bare essentials, such as the names of the companies, date of creation, directors and the physical and mailing addresses.
But the new leak includes the names of 539 registered agents serving as intermediaries between Bahamian authorities and offshore clients, said the report. Mossack Fonseca is one them.
The Bahamas Leaks show that Mossack Fonseca set up 15,915 entities in the Bahamas.
In a previous statement, the Bahamas had called itself “a clean, compliant jurisdiction having been deemed largely compliant with the OECD’s existing standards with respect to the exchange of tax information.” However, the report said that Bahamian authorities as well as Mossack Fonseca did not did not reply to ICIJ’s request for a comment.
Interestingly, the leaks have happened with just over a week left for the September 30 deadline of the Indian government’s much-publicised Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) to expire. The IDS allows individuals who hold black money to declare their undisclosed income and come clean by paying 45 per cent tax as penalty.