After Panama Papers, a new set of data (termed as Paradise Papers) taken from another offshore law firm, Appleby, reveals how wealthy corporates and ultra-rich individuals hide money and moved them to 19 tax havens to evade taxes.
In total, there are 13.4 million documents from two companies dealing in offshore finance. A chunk of it comes from Appleby, a Bermuda-based legal services provider, that helped corporates and individuals set up offshore firms at low or zero tax rates.
A report on Indian Express has named 714 Indians, including politicians, industrialists and celebrities, who have used these tax havens for their alleged off-shore investments and operations.
The data from Appleby and Asiaciti (Singapore based firm) has been obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and were investigated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) working in partnership with 96 news organisations.
The leaked documents has names of personalities such as top members of US President Donald Trump’s cabinet, Queen Elizabeth II, Russian president Vladimir Putin’s son, lead vocalist of U2 band Bono and American singer Madonna, on its list.
The prominent Indians in the list include actor Amitabh Bachchan, Congress’s Sachin Pilot, former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, minister of state for aviation Jayant Sinha, fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya, Karti Chidambaram and Ravi Krishna (son of former union minister Vayalar Ravi).
As per the report, Radia was part of two offshore companies in Malta. Radia’s tapped phone conversations with politicians, corporates, bureaucrats, and journalists, formed a key part of the investigations into the 2G spectrum scam.
The report reveals that Jayant Sinha was the managing director of Omidyar Network when the company invested in a US company D-Light Design, which has a subsidiary in Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The report said he has not mentioned that he was a director of D-Light Design in his declarations to the Election Commission. However, in his reply, Sinha mentioned that the transactions were not done for any “personal purpose”.
According to the newspaper, Amitabh Bachchan was a shareholder in a Bermuda company that’s now shut. The company Jalva Media Ltd was set up in Bermuda in July 2000 and dissolved in 2005.
Twitterati too have their own point of view:
— Dhruv Rathee (@dhruv_rathee) November 6, 2017
— CNN (@CNN) November 6, 2017
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) November 6, 2017
— Madhavan Narayanan (@madversity) November 6, 2017
You’re paying your fair share of tax. Why shouldn’t the super-rich – the multi-millionaires and billionaires – do the same? #ParadisePapers
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) November 6, 2017