Millions of leaked documents that were investigated in journalistic mission has uncovered financial secrets of many current and former world leaders, politicians, businessmen and public figures from over 91 countries and territories, including India. The documents dubbed as Pandora papers was a result of a partnership of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an organisation that comprises the BBC and The Guardian in the UK, The Indian Express from India and 150 other media outlets. They claim to have access to over 11 million files that are confidential, which prove illegal financial dealings of the richest people in the world. Many celebrities including Shakira, Sachin Tendulkar are among the list.
The Ministry of Finance said that a ‘multi-agency’ group will be investigating the reports leaked. “The government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers and entities”, the Ministry stated on Monday.
The Indian express has revealed that the papers consist of 380 Indian nationals, of which the national daily has confirmed documents related to 60 individuals and companies. Reportedly, the rich who are usually on the radar for tax evasions, set up ‘multi layered’ trusts in jurisdictions that are loosely regulated, but also protected by air-tight secrecy laws. Among Indians, the main names revealed till now are Sachin Tendulkar, along with his wife and her father, whose attorney has denied all allegations; Jackie Schroff, who is a prime beneficiary of trust in New Zealand; Sathish Sharma, the congress leader; JCT Ltd, in which Samir Thapar is a beneficiary; Nira Radia; Anil Ambani; Purvi Modi, sister of Nirav Modi and Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar.
One of the major focuses from the list has been Jordanian King Abdullah II who funnelled over $106 million through companies and used it buy luxury homes in the United States and Europe. The leader has 14 luxury homes in the US and UK bought between 2003 and 2017.
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