What is Panama Paper Leaks and who all are named in it?

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has subpoenaed actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for questioning in a case related to the 2016 ‘Panama Papers’ global tax leakage case, officials said Monday.

Aishwarya Bachchan, 48, the daughter-in-law of superstar Amitabh Bachchan, was asked to depose herself to the agency in Delhi.

The ED has been investigating the case since 2016 when the global leaks came to light. It subsequently issued notices to the Bachchan family asking them to explain their remittances abroad since 2004 under the RBI’s Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS).

What are the Panama Papers?

In 2015, more than 11.5 million documents containing client information from approximately 2,14,488 offshore entities of a Panamanian law firm and corporate services provider ‘Mossack Fonseca’ were leaked. The documents included financial information about people who paid the firm and used the investment. for illegal purposes, including tax evasion and circumventing international sanctions.

An anonymous whistleblower named ‘John Doe’ leaked the documents to German journalist Bastian Obermayer from the Suddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) newspaper. Intention? ‘Make these crimes public’. After complete verification of the information, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) was asked for help and journalists from 107 media outlets in 80 countries analyzed the documents for a year. The leaked papers were soon called “Panama Papers.” The Panamanian government and other entities in Panama have a strong objection to the name and that is why various media outlets call it ‘Mossack Fonseca Papers’.

How does the scheme work?

Although investing in offshore companies is not illegal, hiding it from tax authorities is.

An individual approaches Mossack Fonseca to create a shell company. It means a business only on paper and creating the appearance of a business with the aim of hiding assets. The corporate service provider creates a shell company abroad in places like Panama far from the investor’s home country and it is easy to get rid of taxes.

For example, if an individual earns $ 50,000 per year legally and additionally earns $ 50,000 illegally, and if he invests the other illegal money in offshore companies, the individual can easily get rid of the taxes as the home country does not know about it. Even if the shell company is located, you cannot directly trace the owner as on paper it is owned by someone else called as the alternate owner. To show the working of the shell company, it cheats various fake transactions, consulting payments and compensation for canceled transactions.

Who are the people named on the list?

A massive leak of 11.5 million tax documents had exposed the secret deals abroad of aides of Russian President Vladimir Putin, world leaders Y Famous including cool soccer Lionel messi.

Twelve current or former heads of state were named in the investigations, including the former Prime Ministers of Iceland Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson and Pakistan – Nawaz Sharif, the first President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the King of Saudi Arabia –Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as well as sports and film stars such as Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Nico Roseberg; Emma Watson Y Jackie Chan.

They allege Family of Chinese President Xi Jinping has ties to overseas accounts, as does the father of the former British prime minister David cameronand they claim that Iceland’s prime minister secretly owned millions of dollars in bank bonds during the financial crisis.

Indian names on the list:

The names on the list are made up of 12 world leaders, 128 civil servants and politicians from more than 200 countries. According to a report, more than 500 Indians are part of the firm and more than 230 Indian passports have been seized, which were deposited as part of the formality. Among the many names that Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Y Ajay devgan They are listed in the papers scam.

Aishwarya and her family were reportedly part of Amic Partners Limited, which had an initial capital of $ 50,000. While Big B was appointed Director of four offshore shipping companies, one in the British Virgin Islands and others in the Bahamas. Others on the list are Former DLF CEO Kushal Pal Singh, Sameer Gehlaut by Indiabulls and former head of the Delhi branch of India’s Lok Satta party Anurag Kejriwal, among others.

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Posted on: Monday Dec 20 2021 1:01 pm IST


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