New Delhi: A fresh expose — Paradise Papers — by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has lifted the veil on the offshore activities of some powerful people across the word, including some Indians, in order to escape the tax net.
The Paradise Papers documents include nearly seven million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from inside Appleby, a prestigious offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and elsewhere.
The leaked documents include files from the smaller, family-owned trust company Asiaciti, and from company registries in 19 secrecy jurisdictions. The Sun Group, founded by Nand Lal Khemka, figured as Appleby’s second largest client with as many as 118 offshore entities, as per the reports.
The Indian names also included those associated with the Sun-TV-Aircel-Maxis case, the Essar-Loop 2G case, the SNC-Lavalin in which Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan was named and then cleared, and a case against Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy; as well as entities linked to the Rajasthan ambulance scam that names an entity called Ziquista Healthcare (with Congress leader Sachin Pilot and former minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti as early honorary/independent directors). Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said the transactions revealed in the “Paradise Papers” were legal and bonafide.
Mr Sinha had worked with Omidyar Network as managing director in India and Omidyar Network had invested in a US company D. Light Design that has a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, according to a report based on the Paradise Papers investigation. “The transactions were undertaken on behalf of highly-reputed world-leading organisations in my fiduciary role as partner at Omidyar Network and its designated representative on the D. Light board,” the minister said. “It is crucial to note that these transactions were done for D. Light as an Omidyar representative, and not for any personal purpose,” he noted. Mr Sinha also said these transactions had been disclosed to the authorities through all necessary filings as required....