Mumbai: Along with many white-collared officials, Bollywood’s megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s name has emerged in the infamous Panama Papers case, with the Income Tax department “aggressively” pursuing the case. The I-T department has dispatched a higher authority to the British Virgin Islands to extract information, a senior official told Times of India.
The Caribbean Island is considered to be one of the several tax havens. Thirty-three prosecutions have been launched by the tax department to the names popped up in the Panama Papers and is questioning others.
An official, on condition of anonymity, told the publication, "There is no let-up in investigations. We are aggressively seeking information from other countries."
Recently, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif was expelled from his position, after the country’s top court found him guilty in connection with the Panama Papers case. Since then, the Indian tax authorities' credibility has been questioned for their laid-back behaviour in this highly contentious case.
When interrogated about the information linked to the accusations against Bachchan, the officials stated, “Mr Bachchan has said he does not own any of the firms named in the documents. So we just can't launch a probe. We have to seek information."
"We have sent a senior CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) officer to the British Virgin Islands to gather information and we are also seeking information from various other countries and then we will have to analyse and see if there are any violations," revealed the official to the leading daily.
Names of several film stars, businessman and politicians have been attached to the Panama Papers.
Amitabh Bachchan has denied any unlawful activity, and said that his settlements overseas were regulated on the lines of Indian law. The actor denied names of the firms linked to the Panama Papers.
"Some of the accounts which were revealed are also genuine and those named have come forward to give details. It is a long-drawn process of seeking information," said the official.
Names of 140 political figures from 50 countries have been linked to the offshore accounts, which include 12 current or former heads of state and sportspersons, administrators and 29 billionaires from a popular magazine’s rich list. It has 11.5 million documents, involving 2,14,000 offshore organisations covering a time period between 1977 and 2015.
Panama Papers are leaked documents from a Panama-based law firm - Mossack Fonseca, which has offices in 35 countries....