ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Paradise Papers: Amitabh, Jayant Sinha, Mallya Among Those Named 

The names of 714 Indians reportedly appeared on the ‘Paradise List’. Who are these Indians?

Updated
India
4 min read
story-hero-img
i
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large

With 19 tax havens under their belt, Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti have facilitated the “global rich and powerful”, including Indians, siphon their money abroad, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists-led investigation of Paradise Papers revealed.

The data leak involves 714 Indian names reportedly, sourced through these two companies, taking India to the 19th position among 180 countries, reported the Indian Express.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, tainted liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha, are some of the names that appear in the records, revealed the Indian Express investigation.

The newspaper was a part of the 96 organisations that led the Paradise Papers investigation in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

According to the report, the investigation was carried out using the records that were mostly from Appleby, a 119-year-old Bermuda law firm. The firm reportedly helps in the setting up of offshore companies and also manages their clients' bank accounts.

Appleby’s second-largest client internationally is reportedly an Indian company that is said to have as many as 118 different offshore entities.

Companies That Were Under Scrutiny Earlier

Appleby’s clientele reportedly includes several prominent corporate houses and companies that had come under the scrutiny of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) earlier.

The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was accused of making monetary gains from SNC-Lavalin case, during his tenure as the electricity minister, almost two decades ago. While he was acquitted in the Rs 374-crore scam earlier this year, the company’s name has reportedly surfaced in the Paradise Papers.

Karti Chidambaram and Sachin Pilot’s names have appeared in the list as well for being associated with Ziquista Healthcare, where the two of them were Independent and Honorary Directors respectively. Former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot’s name too surfaced in relation to the same company.

Leading Indian corporates in the Appleby database reportedly include Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, the Hiranandani Group and D S Construction.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Bachchan’s Name In Paradise List

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s name has also reportedly surfaced in the Paradise Papers data. The actor’s name had earlier appeared in the Panama Papers, revealed in early 2016.

Among other individual names, Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata Dutt and controversial corporate lobbyist Niira Radia’s names also appeared, reported the Indian Express.

According to the newspaper, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha’s name appeared due to his past association with the Omidyar Network.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

RK Sinha Features Too

BJP MP RK Sinha was also named in the list for his security company’s links with two offshore companies. Sinha’s company Security and Intelligence Services (SIS) has a subsidiary – SIS Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd (SAPHL) based in Malta. Sinha’s wife Rita Sinha is a director of SAPHL, while Sinha himself is a minority shareholder.

Another company named SIS International Holdings Limited (SIHL), based out off British Virgin Islands, holds 3,99,999 shares in SAPHL, while Sinha holds the remaining 1 share, Indian Express reported.

Sinha reportedly did not disclose his and his wife’s link with SAPHL prior to taking up the office of a Rajya Sabha MP. However, he did declare his interest in all the companies before SEBI earlier this year.

When ANI asked him for his response on the leak, Sinha refused to comment, citing a ‘maunvrath’ (observation of silence).

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Vijay Mallya on the List

Tainted liquour baron who is among the ‘most wanted’ list for several financial irregularities, also features in the data leak in connection with the sale of his company United Spirits Limited India.

At a time when the CBI is making an all-out effort to extradite liquor baron and aviation czar Vijay Mallya, Appleby’s documents show how millions of dollars worth of loans taken by offshore companies of United Spirits Limited India were waived by Diageo (the company which finally acquired USL).
Indian Express
ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Veerappa Moily’s Son Harsha Moily Named

At a time when Veerappa Moily held a post in the UPA government, his son Harsha is said to have floated a firm which received investments from subsidiaries of the Unitus Group, reported Indian Express.

According to Appleby records accessed by the daily, Unitus Impact PCC – a Protected Cell Company (PCC) based out off Mauritius, had only one shareholder – Unitus Impact Partners LLC. The PCC had two cells – Kinara Unitus and MYA Unitus Impact Partners (MYA UIP). The Appleby report further states that the sole subscriber to Harsha’s firm Moksha Yug Access was MYA UIP.

Further, a client screening report by Appleby in 2012 named Harsha as a ‘politically exposed person’, as his father was a Union Cabinet Minister then.

According to the firm’s website, it has investors apart from MYA UIP. Similarly, Appleby data reveals that MYA United Impact partners has one shareholder – MYA UIP LLC – which in turn has a share agreement with Unitus Impact PCC, thereby establishing a link.

When Indian Express sought a response from Harsha over his name appearing in the list, he replied by saying:

... it was imperative that MYA raise external investment from professional investors in the impact investment space including by Unitus Impact PCC – MYA UIP, the investment vehicle set up by Unitus Impact to make investments into MYA.
ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Kenneth Juster, US Ambassador to India, Finds Mention on the List

Trump’s Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster was also named in the Paradise Papers, for having profited from the offshore business of his investment company Warsburg when it purchased a shipping corporation.

Juster is named in the compliance papers of Warsburg’s billion-dollar buyout of Triton Container International, a shipping corporation. Juster declared his assets to amount to about $5 million before the ethics officials earlier in the year, Guardian reported.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

The ‘Paradise Papers’ is a collection of 13.4 million documents, which was first obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and was later taken up for investigation by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with 96 partner organisations.

Ironically, the leak comes just two days before Indian Government observed ‘Anti-Black Money Day’, which also marks one year of demonetisation.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT to find #PollutionKaSolution. Send in your suggestions to fit@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Published: 
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More
×
×