In a massive leak followed by a large effort in investigative journalism, more than 11 million documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca have been put out in public domain, which have been dubbed as the 'Panama papers'.
The leak was collaborated by hundreds of journalists as part of The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and showed how Panama based law firm Mossack Fonseca helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax with offshore accounts.
The leak is said to be one of the biggest ever and shows links to 72 current or former heads of state in the data, including dictators accused of looting their own countries.
A lot of Indians were also named in the list including two south Indians.
Rajendra Patil is a businessman and the son-in-law of Karnataka Horticulture Minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa.
According to The Indian Express:
Patil and two associates, Sanjay Nadgouda and Shashank Angadi, set up an offshore firm called Elgenburg Ltd in the British Virgin Islands in 2007 with an initial shareholding of 50,000 shares with Patil holding 22,500 of them. The records show a commercial complex owned by the Shivashankarappa family in Bengaluru as Patil’s address in India.
Patil has responded saying that the company was created in 2007 and they were trading in agricultural commodities. "We did one deal but suffered losses of Rs 1 crore so we shut it down the same year,” he said.
Two other names that came from the south were Indira Sivasailam and Mallika Srinivasan. While the former, who passed away in 2008, was the wife of the chairman of Amalgamations Group of companies, the latter is a businesswoman.
Mallika is the Chairman and CEO of TAFE - Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited, a billion dollar enterprise. She is also the wife of Venu Srinivasan, chairman of TVS Motors.
The IE report adds:
MF records list Indira as a shareholder in Stanbridge Company Ltd, which was incorporated in 1999 in the BVI. Records show that shares of the older couple were transferred to their daughters in 2011 and eventually, in October, 2011 Malika Srinivasan relinquished her shares “for personal reasons” to one Ved Prakash Ahuja.
Mallika Srinivasan has said in a statement that she had no connection with the company and that it belonged to V P Ahuja, who is an NRI. Ahuja has also put out a statement confirming that the company was set up by him.