Law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. Photo: AFP
Law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. Photo: AFP

Panama Papers leak: Government vows time-bound probe

The government said the first lot involving 426 people have been investigated by the Indian income tax department and other member-agencies of the multi-agency group

New Delhi: The government on Thursday promised a time-bound investigation into fresh names revealed in the Panama Papers leak while stating that it has initiated action against 74 of the 426 people whose names were revealed in the earlier expose, unearthing undisclosed incomes of Rs1,140 crore.

The Indian Express, part of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, on Thursday reported some new names that are part of the second lot of the Panama Papers leak—a huge cache of data from the database of offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co.

The government said the first lot involving 426 people have been investigated by the Indian income tax department and other member-agencies of the multi-agency group. As many as 352 cases were found to be non-actionable after an examination of tax return forms, responses received from the people named and from the foreign jurisdictions.

“In the 74 cases found actionable, invasive actions were taken in 62 cases with searches conducted in 50 cases, and surveys in 12 cases leading to detection of undisclosed foreign investments of about Rs1,140 crore. In 16 cases, criminal prosecution complaints have been filed in jurisdictional courts which are at various stages of hearing. In 32 cases, notices under section 10 of the Black Money Act have been issued," the statement said.

“The government would like to assure that the fresh series of Panama Papers information would also be effectively addressed within a reasonable time frame," it said, reiterating its commitment to tackle black money. It said the multi-agency group set up for speedy and coordinated decision-making is looking into it.

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