#PanamaPapers: Radia’s Link, Amitabh’s Denial and Iceland Fallout
Panama Papers reveal firm linked to Niira Rink, Big B denies involvement, Iceland PM first casualty.
Mossack Fonseca Set Up Firm Linked to Niira Radia
Investigation of the Panama Papers by The Indian Express shows the existence of one offshore entity owned by corporate lobbyist Niira Radia known as an International Business Company (IBC) registered in the British Virgin Islands by Mossack Fonseka in 1994.
Radia is shown as a British citizen in these documents and, interestingly, it is publicly known that Radia had a company by the name of Crownmart International (India) Pvt Ltd when in London which has been described as a “general business” enterprise set up by her. Both companies, it now turns out, were family enterprises with Radia herself being the primary shareholder.
Currency Maker De La Rue Offered Payoff for its India Deal
The Mossack Fonseca papers reveal that a Delhi businessman was paid a 15 percent commission by the world’s largest commercial maker of banknotes De La Rue in return for tenders in India. In addition, De La Rue also paid him “significant amounts as out-of-pocket expenses towards marketing services.”
De La Rue International Limited, trading as Portals, entered into an Agency Agreement with Aphra Consultants SA on April 1, 2002, through which Aphra was appointed non-exclusive consultant to introduce business opportunities for De La Rue in South East Asia, including India.
Aphra was an offshore entity based in Panama and its final beneficial owner was Somendra Khosla, whose address is specified in the MF papers as D-984, New Friends Colony, New Delhi 110065. Portals, which has been supplying banknote paper to the Bank of England since 1724, was acquired by De La Rue in 1995. The agreement was in effect at least until June 2008, the MF papers show.
Read the full Indian Express report here.
Amitabh Bachchan Denies Links to Firms Named in Panama Leak
Amitabh Bachchan has denied the allegations of him owning offshore companies in mentioned in the Panama Papers leaked by The Indian Express.
In an official statement given out to the press Bachchan said,
I do not know any of the companies referred to by Indian Express - Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd, Lady Shipping Ltd, Treasure Shipping Ltd, and Tramp Shipping Ltd. I have never been a director of any of the above stated companies. It is possible that my name has been misused. I have paid all my taxes including on monies spent by me overseas. Monies that I have remitted overseas have been in compliance with law, including remittances through LRS, after paying Indian taxes. In any event the news report in Indian Express does not even suggest any illegality on my part.Amitabh Bachchan
Read the full report here.
Iceland’s Leader Resigns, First Casualty of Panama Papers
Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned on Tuesday, becoming the first casualty of leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm which have shone a spotlight on the offshore wealth of politicians and public figures worldwide.
The Panama Papers showed the premier’s wife owned an offshore company with big claims on Iceland’s banks, a undeclared conflict of interest for Gunnlaugsson, infuriating many who hurled eggs and bananas in street protests calling for him to step down.
The banks collapsed as the global financial crisis hit in 2008 and many Icelanders blame politicians for not reining in their debt-fuelled binge and averting a deep recession.
Read the full report here.
Panama Law Firm Says Data Hack was External, Files Complaint
The Panamanian lawyer at the centre of a data leak scandal that has embarrassed a clutch of world leaders said that his firm was a victim of a hack from outside his company, and has filed a complaint with state prosecutors.
Founding partner Ramon Fonseca said the firm, Mossack Fonseca, which specialises in setting up offshore companies, had broken no laws and that all of its operations were legal. Nor had it ever destroyed any documents or ever helped anyone evade taxes or launder money, he added in an interview with Reuters.
Mossack Fonseca’s Bag of Tricks: Spies, Deals Hidden in Plain Sight
A report in The Indian Express explains how the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca helps CIA operatives and other characters from the world of espionage set up offshore companies to obscure their dealings, as revealed by the Panama leak.
The documents show how MF built labyrinthine corporate structures that sometimes blur the line between legitimate business and the cloak-and-dagger world of international espionage.
The documents also pull back the curtain on hundreds of details about how former CIA gun-runners and contractors use offshore companies for personal and private gain. Further, they illuminate the workings of a host of other characters who used offshore companies during or after their work as spy chiefs, secret agents or operatives for the CIA and other intelligence agencies.
David Cameron Under Pressure Over Father’s Name in Panama Papers
UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his family do not benefit from any offshore funds, his spokesman said on Tuesday, after the British leader came under pressure over his late father’s inclusion in the “Panama Papers” revelations over tax havens.
Leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca have provided evidence of how the world’s rich and powerful used secretive offshore company structures to stash their wealth.
The documents named Cameron’s late father Ian and members of his Conservative Party among the list of the firm’s clients.
Read the full report here.
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