The Panama Papers make headlines again in India after the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) questioned Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on Monday.
Among the rich and famous Indians named so far in the Panama Papers are billionaire real estate mogul Kushal Pal Singh, billionaire Gautam Adani’s brother Vinod Adani, and billionaire real estate mogul Sameer Gehlaut.
The list also includes Bollywood’s Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
WHAT HAPPENED NOW?
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appeared before the Emergency Department on Monday for questioning regarding the 2016 ‘Panama Papers’ case. Aishwarya Rai, 48, joined the ED investigation in Delhi after evading the summons twice.
Since the global leaks of the Panama Papers were made public in 2016, the ED has been investigating the case. It subsequently issued notices to members of the Bachchan family, asking them to explain their alleged illegal foreign transactions since 2004, under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Reserve Bank of India.
Read | Aishwarya Rai Bachchan summoned by ED in Panama Papers case
INDIANS NAMED IN PANAMA’S ROLES FLEE
According to a report, more than 500 Indians are associated with the ‘Mossack Fonseca’ company, and the DE has seized more than 230 Indian passports that were deposited as part of the company’s paperwork. Among the many names featured in the Panama Papers scam are Bollywood celebrities Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, and Ajay Devgn.
Here is a list of Indians whose names have appeared in research over the years:
AISHWARYA RAI BACHCHAN
The leaked documents allege that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was a director of Amic Partners Limited, a British Virgin Islands company, before they changed their status to shareholder. Even his father Kotedadi Ramana Rai Krishna Rai, his mother Vrinda Krishna Raj Rai and his brother Aditya Rai were registered as directors of Amic. The company was dissolved in 2008, a year after she married Abhishek Bachchan.
According to the leaked documents, Amitabh Bachchan was a director of four shipping companies based in the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.
“The authorized capital of these companies ranged from $ 5,000 to $ 50,000, but they traded millions of dollars in ships,” the report says.
Actor Ajay Devgn’s name appeared in the Panama Papers leak as the largest shareholder in Marylebone Entertainment Ltd, located in the British Isles of Virginia. As of October 29, 2013, the original shareholder of the company was Hassan N Sayani, based in London.
Devgn reportedly bought all of the shares on the same day and later said the company was legally established according to RBI guidelines.
The founder of Delhi-based DLF, India’s largest real estate developer, KP Singh, reportedly acquired a company registered in the British Virgin Islands in 2010, along with his wife.
“At least two more companies were created in 2012 by his son Rajiv Singh and his daughter Pia Singh. The family’s three offshore entities together own nearly $ 10 million, ”the Indian Express report said.
The owner of real estate company Indiabulls bought three properties in London through registered family businesses in Karnal, Delhi, Bahamas, Jersey and the UK. The transactions involved a complex network of companies that led to the SG Family Trust, owned by Sumita Singh, former MLA director and head of Congress for Haryana Mahila, and her husband Jagdeep Singh Virk.
Others included in the list are Shiv Vikram Khemka, son of the patriarch of the SUN group, Nand Lal Khemka; Jehangir Sorabjee, son of former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee; Anurag Kejriwal, former leader of the Delhi Lok Satta Party; Navin Mehra of Mehrasons Jewelers; Hajra Iqbal Memon, wife of Don Iqbal Mirchi of the underworld.
Read | This is what ED asked Aishwarya Rai Bachchan about the Panama Papers | Details
WHAT IS THE PANAMA PAPERS CASE?
In 2015, more than 11.5 million documents were leaked containing details of approximately 2,14,488 extraterritorial entities of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The documents contained financial information about prominent individuals who had paid the company and used the investment for illegal purposes such as tax evasion and international sanctions avoidance.
An anonymous whistleblower named ‘John Doe’, who exposed the illegal transactions, leaked the documents to a German journalist named Bastian Obermayer.
The massive leak revealed secret deals abroad by world leaders and celebrities, including assistants to Russian President Vladimir Putin and soccer legend Lionel Messi. The leaked Panama Papers list 12 world leaders, 128 public officials and politicians from more than 200 countries.
Read | Panama Papers Scandal: Will the Government Take Action Against Named Indigenous People?
Read | Abhishek Bachchan was questioned by DE about the Panama Papers case in November