Owners of Airtel and PVR named in Panama Papers leak

Panama Papers

New Delhi, June 21:Fresh documents from the Panama Papers investigation has revealed names of some big Indian business magnets, including Kavin Bharati Mittal and Jalaj Ashwin Dani, who took services of the law firm Mossack Fonseca for allegedly parking and moving their money in and out of secret tax havens.

The Indian Express report stated that more than 12 lakh fresh documents have been examined by an international consortium of investigative journalists .These names include :

Hike Messenger CEO Kavin Bharati Mittal- the son of Sunil Mittal, the chairman of Bharati Mittal

Asian Paints promoter Ashwin Dani’s son Jalaj Ashwin Dani.

Ajay Bijli, owner of PVR cinemas, and members of his family

On April 5, 2016, the very day of the global media leak, Mossack Fonseca sent an “assurance” to its subsidiary offices vowing “to make sure intrusions of this nature are prevented from happening in the future.” But within days, emails, full of alarm, continued to pour in, many on behalf of companies owned by Indians.

A particularly revealing one is a May 9, 2016 email received by Mossack Fonseca from P P Shah and Associates, a Mumbai-based accountancy firm, in connection with offshore entity Whitefield Global Investments Ltd, whose beneficiaries are Baroda-based Chirayu Amin and members of his family.

German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung received 1.2 million documents containing data until the end of 2017 in this new leak. Through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Süddeutsche Zeitung shared the information with over 100 journalists, including reporters from Financieele Dagblad and Trouw in the Netherlands.

The new papers also show that several companies set up by Indians were, first, sent notices by Mossack Fonseca (several by November 2016) to produce missing information and these letters mentioned the name/s of the Beneficial Owner (BO), wherever available, or demanded that the name be immediately disclosed.

In the next stage, Mossack Fonseca served 90-day notices to clients informing them that the firm would resign as Registered Agent because the companies failed to meet legal due diligence requirements.

Mossack Fonseca did not know who the owners of many companies were. This was the case with 70 percent of the 28,500 Mossack Fonseca customers on the British Virgin Islands, and 75 percent of the 10,500 letterbox companies in Panama.

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