Multi Agency Group begins investigations on Pandora Papers, first meeting held
New Delhi, Oct 19: A Multi-Agency Group (MAG) headed by the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) started a preliminary investigation on the Pandora Papers case.
JB Mohapatra, chairman of the CBDT, had a meeting with Officials of Enforcement Director (ED), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) attended the meeting to investigate the entities and persons named in the Pandora Papers.
The MAG had discussions over the International Consortium of International Journalists' report on the 2.94 terabyte data trove which exposed the offshore secrets of wealthy elites from more than 200 countries and territories.
"Only a few of the 380 Indian names and entities have appeared in the media so far. MAG will fast track its investigation once the rest of the names of Indian entities are released by ICIJ," ANI quotes sources as saying.
In the meeting, the agency decided to seek information from countries concerned on Indian entities through the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI).
"Through AEIO tax authorities match the incomes earned or account held abroad, with that declared in their tax returns so as to detect instances, if any, of tax evasion," sources added.
India has activated the AEOI relationship for receiving information from 96 countries, including the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas where Indian entities have allegedly made their investments.
Sources further said, "Tax authorities also have the provision of common reporting standard (CRS), where CRS requires financial institutions to identify the tax residency of all the customers, and in most cases report information on customers who are tax residents outside of the country/jurisdiction where they hold their accounts,"
Names of more than 300 wealthy Indians, including business people, figure in the 'Pandora Papers', and many of the Indians have rejected allegations of misdoings.