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Business News/ News / India/  Pandora Papers: From Sachin Tendulkar to Anil Ambani, here's what ED's probe on owners of offshore firms reveals
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Pandora Papers: From Sachin Tendulkar to Anil Ambani, here's what ED's probe on owners of offshore firms reveals

The Pandora Papers revealed details of offshore entities used by the ultra-rich to manage their finances. The ED is investigating 380 individuals of Indian nationality, including prominent figures such as Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Singhania, Anil Ambani, and Niira Radia.

The Pandora files revealed that Anil Ambani, chairman of ADA Group, and his representatives own at least 18 offshore companies in Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, and Cyprus. Premium
The Pandora files revealed that Anil Ambani, chairman of ADA Group, and his representatives own at least 18 offshore companies in Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, and Cyprus.

India's anti-money laundering agency, the Enforcement Directorate, has begun the investigation for almost all Indian owners of offshore firms named in the 2021 Pandora Papers, according to a report by The Indian Express.

Recording of statements to seizures of assets searches of premises and scrutiny of accounts are some of the key aspects of ED's probe in Pandora Papers, the English daily noted.

What are Pandora Papers?

These are the leaked document files from 14 global corporate services firms that set up about 29,000 off-the-shelf companies and private trusts for clients across the world.

It is a collection of over 11 million leaked files that comprises details of ownership of offshore entities used by the ultra-rich to manage their global money flows.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) obtained the data in 2021 and shared it with 150 media partners including The Indian Express.

The Pandora Papers have names of 380 persons of Indian nationality including Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Singhania, Anil Ambani, Indian-born Emirati businessman BR Shetty, Chairman and Managing Director of Raymond Limited Gautam Singhania, Husband of Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw- John Shaw, Bhartia family that runs the Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, Niira Radia, Harish Salve, former Maharaja of Jodhpur Gah Singh, Guarav Burman, former royal and chairman of HRH Group of Hotels Arvind Singh Mewar, businessman Samir Thapar, co-founder of Ireo real estate group Lalit Goyal, Former Ranbaxy promoters Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, Unitech promoter Sanjay Chandra, late Iqbal Mirchi, Promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, and Bakul Nath who is the son of Congress veteran Kamal Nath.

Updates on Pandora Papers:

ANIL AMBANI

The Pandora files revealed that Anil Ambani, chairman of ADA Group, and his representatives own at least 18 offshore companies in Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, and Cyprus. The companies were set up between 2007 and 2010 and seven of them borrowed and invested at least $1.3 billion.

According to an Indian Express report, ED has sought details on all reported entities. Summons were sent to Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani under provisions of FEMA. ED recorded their statements in the Mumbai office.

SACHIN TENDULKAR

Pandora Files revealed that cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and his wife were "Beneficial Owners of a BVI company, Saas International Limited". The documents listed as PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons) since Tendulkar was also an ex-MP. Notably, Tendulkar’s office had then called the BVI investments “legitimate."

Now as per the latest update, ED invoked FEMA and sent a communication to Income Tax for ITR details of the legendary cricketer. IE report said that an Egmont request has been sent to the Financial Intelligence Unit of the BVI.

HARISH SALVE

Former Solicitor General of India Harish Salve acquired The Marsul Company in the BVI in 2015 to own a property in London as per Pandora Papers. Now Indian Express report mentioned, that an Egmont request has been made with FIU-BVI and requests have been made with IT authorities for details of his returns for Marsul.

KAPIL/DHEERAJ WADHAWAN

Former DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dheeraj, who are already facing a multi-crore loan bank scam of over 88,000 crore, incorporated a string of offshore entities mostly in BVI and the Bahamas, Pandora Papers investigation revealed.

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act probe is already on, and The Indian Express report added that the Egmont requests have been sent to the BVI, UAE, Bahamas, and Switzerland and replies are being analysed.

MALVINDER SINGH/SHIVINDER SINGH

Pandora's file revealed that the former Ranbaxy promoters Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh set up two offshore firms in the BVI in 2009. Shivinder mortgaged some properties of Forthill to borrow 5.1 million pounds from Barclays Bank. The Singh brothers were arrested in 2019 and face charges of money laundering and fraud.

Now as per the latest updates, the ED has frozen a bank account of Malvinder Singh in Singapore where “proceeds" had been credited.

The ED is investigating the property of Shivinder Singh and his wife Aditi Singh which was allegedly transferred to conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar.

NIIRA RADIA

According to Pandora Files, Radia incorporated about a dozen offshore entities. Records had a slew of hefty financial transactions with emails showing she was a "do not contact" client. Niira Radia had rejected her association with the companies and said she had no shareholding in them. Indian Express reported that the data seized has been sent for analysis and fresh summons were issued to her. The ED has also recorded the statement of Radia’s sister, Karuna Menon.

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Published: 05 Feb 2024, 11:04 AM IST
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