The names of several Indians have surfaced, linked to companies in offshore tax havens, according to a journalistic investigation published by media outlets, dubbed the 'Paradise Papers'.
The Indian Express, which worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for the investigation, reported that Indian company, Sun Group, founded by Nand Lal Khemka, figured as the second-largest international client of Appleby, a law-firm, with as many as 118 different offshore entities.
Applebyâ€™s documents also reportedly show how millions of dollars worth of loans taken by offshore companies of Vijay Mallya's United Spirits Limited India were waived by Diageo, which later acquired USL.
The Express said that among Appleby's Indian clients were several prominent corporates and companies, which subsequently came under the scrutiny of investigating agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (EF).
These include firms in the Sun-TV-Aircel-Maxis case; Essar-Loop 2G case; SNS-Lavalin in which Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was named and then cleared; the Rajasthan ambulance scam which has recently been routed to the CBI and which names a company called Ziquista Healthcare (Sachin Pilot and Karti Chidambaram were early honorary/independent directors of the firms respectively); and fresh financial links in a CBI case against YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Express said.
It also uncovered fresh financial links in the CBI case against YSR Congress Party Chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha's name figures on the record because of his past association with Omidyar Network, so does the name of R K Sinha, BJP Rajya Sabha member of Parliament, in Malta offshore companies' list. Sinha and others had denied any wrongdoing in response to Express queries. Sinha also sent tweets on Monday saying full disclosure had been made to the authorities.
"Besides corporates, the data revealed details of individuals as well; Amitabh Bachchan's shareholding in a Bermuda company acquired before the 2004 Liberalised Remittance Scheme kicked in; corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and film star Sanjay Dutt's wife who figures under her former name Dilnashin," the daily said.
There are also thousands of documents on the GMR Group, Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, the Hiranandani Group and D S Construction, the IE report adds.
The investigation was performed by 382 reporters at almost 100 media outlets who analysed more than 13 million tax haven documents covering the period 1950-2016, Efe news reported.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and singers Bono and Madonna are among the 127 internationally known figures linked to offshore tax havens.
The documents from 19 jurisdictions on the worldwide list of tax havens were leaked from the Appleby and Asiatici Trust Law Firm and received by Germany's SÃ¼ddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, which called in the ICIJ to examine them.
This investigation comes months after the 'Panama Papers' were published in April this year.
The Panama Papers are set of leaked documents which show how law firm Mossack Fonseca helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax with offshore accounts. However, offshore accounts do not by default indicate illegality.
The investigation into the papers was carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The leak was said to be one of the biggest ever and showed links to 72 current or former heads of state in the data, including dictators accused of looting their own countries.