Pandora Papers investigation threw light on the alleged illegal and illegitimate riches of many world leaders, including Indians. Nearly 12 million documents purportedly throwing light on the secret, and allegedly ill-gotten wealth of the rich and famous of the world were released on Sunday as part of the investigation.
The website of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists termed the probe as “an offshore data tsunami”. The Pandora Papers has enveloped many politicians and billionaire business leaders from all across the globe.
A total of 2.94 terabytes of data came out from companies hired by wealthy clients to safeguard their black money. These wealthy clients allegedly chartered big companies to create structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Switzerland etc.
(Tax Havens: Geographical locations with low tax rates. Wealthy people often choose to live or register their companies in such countries in order to avoid payment of hefty tax rates.)
Names that Pandora Papers claim to expose include roughly 330 politicians from over 90 countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trusted personals and close financial aids to Pakistani PM Imran Khan have also made the list. “My government will investigate all our citizens mentioned in the Pandora Papers,” Imran Khan tweeted on Sunday. “I call on the international community to treat this grave injustice as similar to the climate change crisis,” he added.
The investigation conducted by ICIJ has also exposed financial secrets and offshore holdings of many Indian elites as well.
Indians mentioned in the paper and their offshore holdings:
Sachin Tendulkar: The Indian cricketing legend apparently owns an offshore entity in the British Virgin Islands. His name also came to light in 2016, in the Panama Papers(a similar set of financial documents).
Anil Ambani: Indian business tycoon who recently declared himself bankrupt is also in the documents. He allegedly holds offshore entities that have not been declared to the income tax department.
Apart from the two mentioned above, Biocon promoter Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s husband and Purvi Modi are also in the documents for similar reasons. (Purvi Modi is Nirav Modi’s sister).
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