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What are Panama Papers? Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, others named in history’s biggest data leak

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The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in connection with the Panama Papers investigation. The expose revealed that many big names in India had floated companies in tax havens.

According to the report, the multi-agency group (MAG) set up by the central government has put 426 Indians under scrutiny. MAG, which was investigating the leads from the 2016 leak, detected more than Rs 1000 crore in black money.

In July, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed that he had been offered Rs 1,000 crore on behalf of Shahbaz Sharif to drop the Panama Papers case against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was also named in the case.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan tried Nawaz Sharif, disqualified him for dishonesty and ordered corruption cases to be filed against him and his children.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Panama Papers
Image credits: arb/Instagram

Panama Papers: List of Indians named

Two years after the initial leak of the document, another leak of the Panama Papers was reported. Indian nationals whose ties to offshore companies were confirmed in the new leak included:

  • SUN group patriarch Nand Lal Khemka’s son Shiv Vikram Khemka
  • Amitabh Bachchan
  • Former attorney general Soli Sorabjee’s son Jehangir Sorabjee
  • DLF Group’s KP Singh and family
  • Former Delhi Lok Satta Party leader Anurag Kejriwal
  • Mehrasons Jewellers‘ Navin Mehra
  • Underworld don Iqbal Mirchi’s wife Hajra Iqbal Memon

An SIT consisting of officers from ED, Income Tax, and other agencies is investigating the Panama Papers case.

What are Panama Papers
Image credits: Süddeutsche Zeitung

What are Panama Papers?

The Panama Papers are an unprecedented leak of 11.5 million files from the database of Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper, obtained the documents from an anonymous source.

Süddeutsche Zeitung
Image credits: Süddeutsche Zeitung

The newspaper made them available to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Image credits: ICIJ

What do they reveal?

The Panama Papers pertain to leaked documents that indicate fraud and tax evasion by several individuals and businesses across the world.

Süddeutsche Zeitung
Image credits: Süddeutsche Zeitung

12,000 of the fresh documents are linked to Indians. In the previous leak in 2016, over 500 Indians were named in documents from Mossack Fonseca.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Panama Papers
Image credits: arb/Instagram

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s name appeared in the list of 500 Indians named in the big leak of 11.5 million tax documents.

Süddeutsche Zeitung
Image credits: Süddeutsche Zeitung

What is Mossack Fonseca?

Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm, provides services including asset management and incorporating companies in offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands. It manages offshore companies for an annual fee.

Süddeutsche Zeitung
Image credits: Süddeutsche Zeitung

The company runs a global operation. It operates in tax havens such as Switzerland, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands.

The biggest leak in history

The leak is one of the biggest in history: larger than the American diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks in 2010 and the classified intelligence documents that Edward Snowden provided to journalist in 2013.

Panama Paper leak
Image credits: Süddeutsche Zeitung

1.5 million Documents and 2.6 terabytes of information were obtained from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database.

ALSO READ: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Summoned By ED Over Panama Papers Leak

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Bindiya Bhatt
Bindiya Bhatt
Founder and Editor-in-Chief at The Vocal News, Bindiya Bhatt is a journalist with over 16 years of experience in the media industry. Having covered nearly all beats in her career, she is an Automobile and Tech enthusiast who loves writing about cars, bikes, gadgets and more. She has done her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from IMS Noida.

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