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Aishwarya Questioned in Panama Papers Case: What are ED’s Allegations?

Aishwarya Bachchan had been summoned earlier too for questioning, but she had sought time twice.

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Celebrities
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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi on Monday, 20 December, for questioning in the Panama Papers' FEMA case, PTI quoted officials as saying. Aishwarya left the agency’s office after 5 hours of questioning and it’s unclear if she has been summoned on another day.

Reports state that the ED wants to question Aishwarya over allegations of stashing wealth abroad. As per a report by NDTV, there were allegations that she parked her money in a company based in the British Virgin Islands.

Sources told the publication that Aishwarya was the director of an offshore company, Amic Partners in the British Virgin Islands in 2004. Law firm Mossack Fonseca registered the company, which had a paid up capital of $50,000.

The actor allegedly exited the company in 2009, after which it was acquired by Dubai-based BKR Adonis.

Earlier, too, the actor had been summoned for questioning, but she had sought time twice.

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The ANI report also states that the ED has registered a money laundering case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, in the matter.

The ED had started investigating alleged forex violations in 2017. It had issued notices to the Bachchan family asking for an explanation of their foreign remittances since 2004 under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Reserve Bank of India. Aishwarya had submitted records of the foreign payments.

According to reports, Abhishek Bachchan was also questioned by the ED in the offshore leaks case in November. News18 reported that the government has formed a multi-agency group (MAG) under the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman for the Panama Papers case. The MAG consists of officials from the ED, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The Panama Papers case is a probe into millions of documents stolen and leaked to the media in 2016. It involves allegations that the rich across the world set up offshore accounts or shell companies to avoid taxes. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists probed and published leaked financial records of celebrities, industrialists and politicians.

(With inputs from NDTV)

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