'Pandora Papers' expose elite's tax havens, Modi govt orders probe
New Delhi, Oct 04: With 300 Indians being named in the leaked Pandora Papers for alleged offshore holdings, the government has formed a multi-agency team to monitor exposes in this regard and to assure action against all unlawful accounts held abroad.
The investigation is based on a leak of confidential records of 14 offshore service providers that give professional services to wealthy individuals and corporations seeking to incorporate shell companies, trusts, foundations and other entities in low or no-tax jurisdictions.
The Government has taken note of these developments. The relevant investigative agencies would undertake investigation in these cases and appropriate action would be taken in such cases as per law. With a view to ensure effective investigation in these cases, the Government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers/entities. The Government of India is also part of an Inter-Governmental Group that ensures collaboration and experience sharing to effectively address tax risks associated with such leaks.
"The Government has directed today that, investigations in cases of Pandora Papers leaks will be monitored headed by the Chairman, CBDT, having representatives from CBDT, Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India & Financial Intelligence Unit," the government said in a tweet.
Government takes note of the data trove in the 'Pandora Papers' leak.— Income Tax India (@IncomeTaxIndia) October 4, 2021
Govt issues directions that investigation in cases of Pandora Paper leaks as appearing in the media under the name 'PANDORA PAPERS' will be monitored through the Multi Agency Group headed by Chairman, CBDT. pic.twitter.com/XSnRBxiady
The ''Pandora Papers'' have named 300 Indian individuals, including Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi, Jackie Shroff, Ajit Kerkar and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.
Millions of leaked documents dubbed as the ''Pandora Papers'' by a worldwide journalistic partnership on October 3, claimed to have uncovered financial secrets of current and former world leaders, politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories, including India.
Here are some of the high profile names that have been made public so far:
Gandhi family friend Satish Sharma
Cox and Kings' Ajit Kerkar
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which involved the BBC and ''The Guardian'' newspaper in the UK and ''The Indian Express'' in India among 150 media outlets in its investigation, claims it obtained the trove of more than 11.9 million confidential files to find secret financial dealings of many super rich.
The ''Pandora Papers'' are a follow-up to a similar project released in 2016, called the ''Panama Papers'' compiled by the same journalistic group