Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata, Union minister Jayant Sinha and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia are among Indians named in a fresh set of data leaks showing alleged offshore dealings of the world’s rich and famous. Titled ‘Paradise Papers’, the findings have been released by the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which was behind the Panama Papers made public last year. The long list of international leaders and celebrities on the list includes Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, singers Bono and Madonna and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The records range from complex 100-page corporate transaction sheets and dollar-by-dollar payment ledgers to simple corporate registries of countries, such as Antigua and Barbuda, that do not publicly list names of company shareholders or directors.
Jayant 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 Cayman Islands, according to a report based on the Paradise Papers investigation.
Nov 6, 2017 11:33 am (IST)
The Paradise Papers reveal offshore footprints of corporate players and high-value individuals. While it is not illegal to set up overseas corporate bodies (OCBs), the revelations will help regulators address any transactions that the companies are trying to hide from them.
Nov 6, 2017 10:57 am (IST)
New York-based ICIJ correspondent Spencer Woodman reports that a common major investor in both Twitter and Facebook had financial-ties to two Russian government-owned firms. DST Global, used $191 million funds made available by Russian VTB Bank, to buy a large stake in Twitter. "They also show that a subsidiary of the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom heavily funded an offshore company that partnered with DST Global in a large investment in Facebook," said the report.
Nov 6, 2017 9:59 am (IST)
ICIJ, which sifted through the data, published the following disclaimer with regards to information provided: “There are legitimate uses for offshore companies, foundations and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons. companies or other entities included in the list have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.”
Nov 6, 2017 9:42 am (IST)
The Paradise Papers reveal that after Vijay Mallya he sold his United Spirits Limited India (USL) to the Diageo group in 2013, the latter employed London-based law firm Linklaters LLP to undertake a massive restructuring exercise to simplify the complex group structure created by liquor baron. The complexity in the structure looks to be aimed towards diverting funds through USL Holdings Ltd (BVI), an entity in a tax haven (British Virgin Islands); and three subsidiaries in the UK, reported The Indian Express.
Nov 6, 2017 9:25 am (IST)
At the centre of the Paradise Papers investigation is — Appleby, a company that helps corporates and individuals shuffle money from and to tax havens and generally help them avoid or evade taxes.
Nov 6, 2017 9:14 am (IST)
Reporters working with the ICIJ, which was also behind the release of the Panama Papers, are reviewing the millions of pages of documents that reveal strategies used to hide assets and avoid taxes.
Nov 6, 2017 9:05 am (IST)
The leaked documents, reported by The Indian Express, also show that US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has a stake in a firm that does business with a gas producer partly owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Nov 6, 2017 8:55 am (IST)
"Full details have been provided to The Indian Express. These were bonafide and legal transactions undertaken on behalf of the high reputed world-leading organisations in my fiduciary role as Partner at Omidyar Network and its designated representative on the D.Light Board. All these transactions have been fully disclosed to relevant authorities through all necessary filings as required. After leaving Omidyar Network, I was asked to continue on the D.Light Board as an Independent Director. On joining the Union Council of Ministers, I immediately resigned from the D.Light Board and severed my involvement with the company. It is crucial to note that these transactions were done for D.Light as an Omidyar representative, and not for any personal purpose," said Union Minister Jayant Sinha, reacting to the Paradise Papers investigation.
Nov 6, 2017 8:45 am (IST)
MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha's name comes up on the list as he was the Managing Director of Omidyar Network which invested in a US company D.Light Design which has a subsidiary in Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea, says the Indian Express report.
Nov 6, 2017 8:36 am (IST)
The report says that India ranks 19th among 180 countries in terms of the number of names. The total number of Indians stand at 714.
Nov 6, 2017 8:31 am (IST)
The investigation was performed by 382 reporters at almost 100 media outlets who analyzed more than 13 million tax haven documents covering the period 1950-2016. The documents from 19 jurisdictions on the worldwide list of tax havens were leaked from the Appleby and Asiatici Trust Law Firm and received by Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, which called in the ICIJ to examine them.
Nov 6, 2017 8:30 am (IST)
The leak, known as Paradise Papers is the fourth collaborative investigation into offshore and banking assets done by The Indian Express with the ICIJ.
Nov 6, 2017 8:27 am (IST)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, singers Bono and Madonna, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata Dutt are among the 127 internationally known figures linked to offshore tax havens, according to an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).