Pandora Papers Expose Offshore Ownership: Gautam Singhania, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Ambani Named in Probe
The Pandora Papers (2021) revealed the identities of various affluent individuals, politicians, and well-known figures from the entertainment and sports industries who own offshore entities.
According to a report by the Indian Express, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is presently conducting investigations into the accounts of Indians involved in financial activities linked to offshore entities. From Sachin Tendulkar to Anil Ambani, here are the names which are currently facing investigation by regulators.
1. Anil Ambani
Between 2007 and 2010, Anil Ambani established 18 offshore companies across locations like Jersey, the British Virgin Islands, and Cyprus. Seven of these companies borrowed and invested $1.3 billion.
ED is conducting an investigation, seeking information on all entities and issuing directives to Indian firms. Anil and Tina Ambani were summoned under FEMA provisions, and they provided statements at the ED Mumbai office.
2. Gautam Singhania
In 2008, Gautam Singhania, the Chairman of Raymond Limited, obtained ownership of two companies in the BVI namely, Deras Worldwide Corporation and Lyndonville Holdings Limited, which also involved his father Vijaypat Singhania as a shareholder. Subsequently, an active FEMA investigation prompted an Egmont request to the BVI, RBI inquiries, and an Income Tax examination under the Black Money Act against the Singhania family. Three summonses were issued, during which Gautam and his father, Vijaypat Singhania, refuted any connections with Deras.
3. Sachin Tendulkar
The Pandora files revealed that Sachin Tendulkar and his family were identified as the beneficial owners of the BVI company, Saas International Limited. The records designate the Tendulkar family as PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons), owing to Sachin's former status as a Member of Parliament. Under FEMA, the ED reached out to the Income Tax department to acquire Sachin Tendulkar's Income Tax Return (ITR) details. Directives were issued to the CEO of Tendulkar’s company and his Chartered Accountant to furnish information regarding Saas.
4. Harish Salve
In 2015, Harish Salve acquired The Marsul Company in the BVI to own a property in London, where he was designated as the Beneficial Owner (BO) and Secretary of the company. Salve was flagged as a PEP.
Regarding the investigation, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has noted that an ongoing probe into Salve was initiated following his inclusion in the Panama Papers and the information from the Pandora Papers has been integrated into the investigation.
Other prominent names such as Niira Radia, Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, John McMallum Marshall Shaw, Lalit Goyal Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan are also included in the list.