New Delhi: In a startling revelation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) claimed it has exposed “offshore havens and hidden riches of world leaders and billionaires in unprecedented leak” through a document – “Pandora Papers”. Names of prominent business personalities like Anil Ambani, Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s husband, corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, and Ajit Kerkar of Cox and Kings have been mentioned in the long list, Indian Express reported today quoting “Pandora Papers”.
What is “Pandora Papers” Project?
- “The Pandora Papers reveal the inner workings of a shadow economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else,” ICIJ said on its website.
- Around 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries were involved in ICIJ’s “Pandora Papers” project.
- “Pandora Papers” can be considered as a follow up to a similar project in 2016 known as “Panama Papers”.
- However, “Pandora Papers” are more expansive as it ported around 3 terabytes of data which is equivalent of roughly 750,000 photos on a smartphone. “Panama Papers” had 2.6 terabytes of data which was leaked by Panama law firm called Mossack Fonseca, as per AP report.
What do “Pandora Papers” Reveal about Business Personalities?
- “Pandora Papers” have disclosed that Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani and his representatives own 18 offshore companies with an overall transaction value of USD 1300.5 million in Cyprus, Jersey, and British Virgin Islands (BVI), according to Indian Express which has investigated the “Pandora Papers”.
- Executive Chairperson of Biocon Ltd of Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s husband John McCallum Marshall Shaw owns 99 per cent in Mauritius-based Glentec International which has shares of Biocon. Glentec set up The Deanstone Trust in New Zealand. Notably, John McCallum Marshall Shaw is a British Citizen, according to an Indian Express report.
- The Deanstone Trust in New Zealand was protected by Kunal Kashyap who was barred from trading in the stock market for a year by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in July this year. Kunal Kashyap was penalized for insider trading in Biocon Ltd shares, the Indian Express report says.
- “Pandora Papers” have revealed that Ajay Ajit Peter Kerkar, now arrested promoter of travel firm Cox and Kings Ltd, is owner of two trusts in British Virgin Islands. His name is also linked to around six offshore firms, the Indian Express report said.
- Niira Radia’s name is there in “Pandora Papers” with around 12 offshore firms. Her name was mentioned in the “Panama Papers” too, the IE report says.
Get real time update about this post directly on your device, subscribe now.