Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Pandora Papers Investigation Identifies Jackie Shroff and Nirav Modi as Owners of Offshore Firms and many more

Numerous Indian figures from various domains, including business, entertainment, and politics, have been exposed in the Pandora Papers Leak. The document encompasses approximately 380 Indian individuals. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), along with its media collaborator in India, the Indian Express, highlighted the identities of prominent Indian personalities, including:

According to the report, the Indian owners of offshore firms named in the Pandora Papers are – Anil Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar, Niira Radia, Gautam Singhania, and Lalit Goyal, among others.

Here’s a list of Indians under investigation by the ED:

Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff

The revelations within the Pandora Papers shed light on the prominent Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff’s involvement as the primary beneficiary of a trust established in New Zealand by his mother-in-law. Records indicate that Shroff made substantial contributions to this trust, which, in turn, held a Swiss bank account and was the proprietor of an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Anil Ambani

The Pandora Papers suggest that Anil Ambani, the chairman of the ADA group, and his representatives hold ownership in a minimum of 18 offshore companies spread across Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, and Cyprus. These entities were reportedly established between 2007 and 2010, with seven of them allegedly borrowing and investing at least 1.3 billion dollars. According to a report by the Indian Express, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has requested comprehensive details on all these entities and has summoned Anil Ambani and his wife Tina under the provisions of FEMA. Their statements have been recorded by the investigative agency in Mumbai.

Sachin Tendulkar

As per the Pandora files, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and his family members were beneficial owners of a BVI company, Saas International Limited. The Pandora records claim the Tendulkar family listed as PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons) as Sachin was also an ex-MP. Now, the ED has invoked FEMA and sent a communication to IT to get ITR details and an Egmont request has also been sent to the financial intelligence unit of the BVI, the report said.

IPL teams Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab

Offshore investments in Indian Premier League (IPL) teams, including Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, have been linked to the Pandora Papers Leak, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Documents from Panamanian law firm Alcogal revealed ownership ties to British citizens connected to Lalit Modi, IPL’s founder.

Gaurav Burman, linked to Kings XI Punjab, and Suresh Chellaram, associated with Rajasthan Royals, were among those identified in the leaked documents. Burman is part of the Dabur’s Burman family, while Chellaram is an Indian businessman based in Nigeria, with family ties to Lalit Modi.

Gautam Singhania

Raymond chairman and managing director Gautam Singhania allegedly acquired two companies in the BVI in 2008 – Deras Worldwide Corporation and Lyndonville Holdings Limited – the Pandora files said. According to the papers, Singhania is the beneficial owner at the Deras company with the purpose of acquisition shown as “to hold an account with UBS, Zurich”, while his father Vijaypat Singhania and Gautam are shown as shareholders in the other company.

According to the IE report, the ED has sent an Egmont request to the BVI and RBI. They have also asked IT if any cases under the black money act are pending against the Singhania family.

Mumbai real estate major Hiranandani

Niranjan Hiranandani, the founder of Mumbai’s renowned real estate conglomerate, Hiranandani Group, along with significant members of his family, emerged as beneficiaries of a Trust holding assets exceeding $60 million. Records from the Pandora Papers, scrutinized by The Indian Express, reveal Niranjan’s role as the “reserve director” in a minimum of three firms established in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) by his son based in Dubai.

Nirav Modi’s sister

Prior to the departure of diamond jeweler Nirav Modi from India in January 2018, his sister Purvi Modi allegedly established a company in the British Virgin Islands to serve as a corporate guardian for a trust formed via the Trident Trust Company, Singapore. Investigative findings indicate that Brookton Management Ltd, formed in December 2017, assumed the role of corporate guardian for The Deposit Trust.

What do the Pandora Papers entail?

The Pandora Papers unveil a trove of over 12 million confidential files, laying bare clandestine offshore financial transactions and suspected tax shelters involving a myriad of global leaders, politicians, and public figures across 91 nations, including India. This data was initially acquired and disclosed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The leak occurred in 2021 and served as a sequel to the Panama Papers expose.

Significantly, the designation ‘Pandora’ draws inspiration from the ancient tale of Pandora’s Box, symbolizing the revelation of hidden truths and secrets.

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