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Tendulkar, Anil Ambani named in Pandora Papers

The leaked documents have been shared with the media by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)

Monday October 4, 2021 8:08 PM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Pandora Papers India

New Delhi: Former Indian crickter and ex-Member of Parliament, Sachin Tendulkar, has been named in the Pandora Papers investigation that unmasks the covert owners of offshore companies, incognito bank accounts, private jets, yachts, mansions, and even artworks by Pablo Picasso, Banksy and other masters, by providing more information than what is usually available to law enforcement agencies and cash-strapped governments.

Tendulkar has been named in the leaked documents as Beneficial Owners of an offshore entity in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) which was liquidated in 2016.

Sachin, with wife Anjali Tendulkar and father-in-law Anand Mehta, as per an investigation of records of Panama law firm Alcogal which are part of Pandora Papers, are named as BOs and Directors of a BVI-based company: Saas International Limited.

The Pandora Papers also named Anil Ambani, Reliance ADA Group Chairman, who had earlier declared himself 'bankrupt', according to media reports.

Records in the Pandora Papers investigated by The Indian Express reveal that the chairman of Reliance ADA Group and his representatives own at least 18 offshore companies in Jersey, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Cyprus (see chart).

Set up between 2007 and 2010, seven of these companies have borrowed and invested at least $1.3 billion, Indian Express said citing Pandora Papers.

In Jersey, Anil Ambani owned three companies — Batiste Unlimited, Radium Unlimited and Hui Investment Unlimited — that were incorporated between December 2007 and January 2008.

 


Interestingly, Anil Amani had declared himself bankrupt, and following a dispute with three Chinese state-controlled banks, Anil Ambani had in February 2020, told a London court that his net worth was zero.

Three months later, he was ordered to pay $716 million to the banks. But he did not, and denied having any asset or worthwhile beneficial interest in any entity worldwide.

Tendulkar's attorney meanwhile said the cricket player's investment is legitimate and has been declared to tax authorities.

Other Indians who figured in Pandora Papers are film actor Jackie Shroff, Niira Radia, who had also figured in Panama Papers, and Kiran Mazumdar.

The leaked documents have been shared with the media by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ obtained the trove of more than 11.9 million confidential files and led a team of more than 600 journalists from 150 news outlets that spent two years sifting through them, tracking down hard-to-find sources and digging into court records and other public documents from dozens of countries.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) said people linked by the secret documents to offshore assets also include pop music diva Shakira, supermodel Claudia Schiffer and an Italian mobster known as "Lell the Fat One", and a number of world leaders - including former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is also accused of war crimes in Iraq, and Jordan King Abdullah.

In most countries, it is not illegal to have assets offshore or to use shell companies to do business across national borders.

Businesspeople who operate internationally say they need offshore companies to conduct their financial affairs. But these affairs often amount to shifting profits from high-tax countries, where they are earned, to companies that exist only on paper in low-tax jurisdictions.

"Using offshore shelters is especially controversial for political figures, because they can be used to keep politically unpopular or even illicit", the ICIJ said.


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