Many usual suspects in Paradise Papers list

Group behind the leak put out a disclaimer that ‘there are legitimate uses for offshore companies’

More than 700 Indians, including those of politicians, corporate chiefs and celebrities, on Monday figured in the leaked Paradise Papers, detailing business dealings of “the world’s most powerful people and companies” in offshore tax havens.
The names started tumbling out as part of the latest global expose by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), even as several of those named denied any wrongdoing.

Star names

The Indian names include Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, defaulter businessman Vijay Mallya, corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, film star Sanjay Dutt’s wife Dilnashin, Union Minister Jayant Sinha and Rajya Sabha member R.K. Sinha, the ICIJ’s media partner in the country, The Indian Express, said.

The ICIJ, which worked with 95 media partners globally for the investigation, said it explored 13.4 million leaked files from offshore law firms, majorly the Bermuda-based Appleby, and company registries in several of the secretive tax jurisdictions.

The ICIJ said the ‘Paradise Papers’ reveal the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies and the files were obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung.

No implications

It, however, put out a disclaimer that “there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts”, and it does not “intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly”.

The ICIJ also said that many people and entities may have similar names and suggested that the identities of those named in the database should be confirmed based on addresses or other identifiable information.

The Indian names also included those associated with the Sun TV-Aircel-Maxis case, Essar-Loop 2G case, SNC-Lavalin in which Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was named and then cleared and a case against Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy; as also entities linked to the Rajasthan ambulance scam that names an entity called Ziquista Healthcare (with Congress leader Sachin Pilot and former Minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti as early honorary/independent directors).

Actor’s blog

Mr. Bachchan wrote a long blog on Sunday, hours before the ‘Paradise Papers’ were published, explaining that he has always cooperated with the “system”, though he did not directly refer to the latest leaks of names.

Source-The Hindu

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