Pandora Papers names 380 Indians including Anil Ambani, Tendulkar

New Delhi: The names of several Indian businessmen, celebrities and politicians have been revealed in an unprecedented leak of financial documents known as the “Pandora Papers”.
As many as 380 Indians are on the list of the global elite who have been exposed for ringfencing their wealth through shadowy financial transactions and using offshore tax havens to hide assets worth millions of dollars, reports The Times of India.

The “treasure trove” of nearly 11.9 million confidential files has been obtained by a global network of reporters and publication houses called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The ICIJ and its partner in India, The Indian Express, mentioned the names of cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar, businessman Anil Ambani, diamantaire Nirav Modi’s sister Purvi and Biocon promoter Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw’s husband, and film star Jackie Shroff.

The Indian government on Monday conveyed that a “multi agency group” headed by the chairperson of the Central Board of Direct Taxes will monitor the investigation of the list of people who allegedly used global tax havens to hide their assets from government scrutiny.

The documents show that Tendulkar, along with family members, owned an offshore entity in the British Virgin Islands that was liquidated in 2016 shortly after the leak of a similar set of financial documents called the Panama Papers. However, Tendulkar’s representative said the transactions were completely legitimate and also declared to the income tax authorities, according to the report.

Businessman Anil Ambani, who recently filed for bankruptcy in a UK court, is also mentioned in the documents concerning off-shore entities. His lawyer, however, also told ToI that his client had followed all required procedures and made declarations before the concerned authorities.

As many as 700 Pakistanis, including members of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s inner circle, have been named in the leaked documents.

According to the ICIJ, current and former cabinet ministers secretly owned an array of companies and trusts holding millions of dollars of hidden wealth.

The exposé was unveiled on October 3 and some of the names already reported include prominent figures from the PTI-led government including Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and Senator Faisal Vawda.

A report by The News said Jang group editor-in-chief Mir Shakil ur Rehman, Dawn CEO Hameed Haroon, and Express Media Group CEO Sultan Ali Lakhani also owned offshore companies.

According to the report, the son-in-law of former Punjab governor Lt Gen (retd) Khalid Maqbool, Ahsan Latif, owned an offshore company Dylan Capital Limited that was registered in the BVI jurisdiction.

Javed Afridi, owner of the Peshawar Zalmi franchise, also owns three offshore companies according to revelations from the Pandora Papers: Old Trafford Properties Ltd, Sutton Gas Works Properties Ltd, and Gas Works Property Ltd.

Pakistan has announced a ‘high-level’ probe into the Pandora Papers exposé.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy Geo-TV)

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