International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) last night released ‘The Paradise Papers’, a global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.
The ICIJ and 95 media partners explored 13.4 million leaked files of offshore law firms and the company registries in some of the world’s most secretive countries. The files were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with the ICIJ.
Among 180 countries represented in the data, India ranks 19th in terms of number of names.
A total of 714 Indian names figure in the leaked data. These include companies involved in the Sun-TV-Aircel-Maxis case, Essar-Loop 2G case and SNC-Lavalin case in which Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was named. Firms involved in Rajasthan ambulance scam such as Ziquista Healthcare also finds place in the list.
Congress leader Sachin Pilot and Karti Chidambaram, son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, were early Honorary/Independent Directors of the firm. YSR Congress Chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya, lobbyist Niira Radia, film actor Sanjay Dutt’s wife who figures under her former name Dilnashin and Nand Lal Khemka of Sun Group also find place in the list. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha’s name figures in the records because of his past association with the Omidyar Network.
Other prominent Indian corporates which figure in the Appleby database include Jindal Steel, Apollo Tyres, Havells, Hindujas, Emaar MGF, Videocon, the Hiranandani Group and DS Construction, GMR group.
The Paradise Papers revealed offshore interests and activities of more than 120 politicians and world leaders, including Queen Elizabeth II. At least 13 allies, major donors and Cabinet members of US President Donald J. Trump appear, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s also figure in the list.
The leaked files from Appleby, the offshore law firm, include details of tax planning by nearly 100 multinational corporations, including Apple, Nike and Uber.