Paradise Papers: Big B, BJP’s Jayant Sinha in the list of 714 Indians for tax evasion

Mumbai: After Panama paper leaks, a corporate and law services provider firm Appleby, has gained everyone’s attention as they feature some of the world’s bigwigs in their records ‘Paradise Papers’.

Among 180 countries, India has gained 19th rank, featuring 714 Indians and corporates who evaded taxes and hedged funds. Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti with 19 tax havens across the world help the rich and powerful in moving their money abroad, reports Indian Express.

The papers that store a set of 13.4 million records come at a time, when India is preparing to celebrate one year of ‘fight against black money’ on November 8.

The documents were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), as per a report by Deccan Chronicle.

This indeed another example of the apparent failure to the measures taken last year, where demonetization not only had created a chaos but also had taken several lives.

Appleby, like Mossack Fonseca (Panama Papers, 2016) provides assistance in setting up offshore companies and bank accounts to facilitate bank loans or transfer of shares, layered in multiple “secrecy jurisdictions” that help evade and shore up one’s wealth.

There are also details from 19 corporate registries in secrecy jurisdictions, including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Labuan, Lebanon, Malta, the Marshall Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vanuatu, reports The Guardian.

Indians in the report

As per an Indian Express Report:

1. Sun Group, founded by Nand Lal Khemka, figures as Appleby’s second-largest client internationally, with as many as 118 different overseas shell entities.

2. Firms in the Sun-TV-Aircel-Maxis case.

3. Firms in the Essar-Loop 2G case.

4. SNC-Lavalin case, in which Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was accused but later cleared.

5. Those involved in the Rajasthan ambulance scam that names a company called Ziquista Healthcare, whose early Honorary/Independent Directors included Sachin Pilot and Karti Chidambaram.

6. Fresh financial leads in a CBI case against YSR Congress Chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

7. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha also features on the list due to his past association with the Omidyar Network.

8. BJP Rajya Sabha MP due to his association with offshore accounts.

9. Founder of Security and Intelligence Services (SIS) R K Sinha.

10. Niira Radia, the corporate lobbyist, of Radia tapes fame.

11. Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata who features under her former name Dilnashin.

12. Offshore accounts of Amitabh Bachhan in a Bermuda company acquired before implementation of the 2004 Liberalised Remittance Scheme.

13. Diageo, the company that acquired Mallya’s United Spirits Limited India.

14. GMR Group.

15. Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, the Hiranandani Group and D S Construction, among others.

Links involved on the global basis:

Apart from India, the papers claim to reveal secret dealings of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief fund-raiser, Russian firm’s investments in Twitter and Facebook, the relationship between Russia and US President Donald Trump’s commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, Queen Elizabeth’s investments, activities of former Pakistan PM Shaukat Aziz, among 120 other politicians.

The 119-year-old company has lawyers, accountants, bankers and other operatives to set up offshore companies and manage bank accounts for clients to avoid or evade taxes; manage real estate assets; open escrow accounts; purchase airplanes and yachts paying low tax rates; or, simply, use offshore vehicles to move millions across the globe.