New Delhi (November 6, 2017): About 714 Indians have been named in the Paradise Papers, according to Indian media.
Pakistan’s neighbouring country, India, ranks 19 out of 180 countries in terms of numbers of names in the list.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released a database of around 13.4 million documents revealing over 25,000 companies owned by the world’s rich and influential individuals on Sunday.
The ICIJ coordinated the Panama Papers investigation into offshore companies.The latest files have disclosed the financial details of politicians, corporations, and celebrities among others.
The Paradise Papers comprise a major part of documents leaked from the company ‘Appleby’.
An Indian company is reported to be Appleby’s second’s largest client internationally, with as many as 118 different offshore holdings.
Moreover, other Indian clients of Appleby include many prominent corporations and companies, which subsequently came under the scrutiny of investigating agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Indian politicians named in Paradise Papers
Names of two Indian politicians have emerged in the Paradise Papers so far; Indian Member of Parliament Ravindra Kishore Sinha and India’s minister of civil aviation Jayant Sinha.
RK Sinha, a member of the Indian Parliament’s upper house and the chairman of Hindustan Samachar, a news agency backed by an organisation behind the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Sinha is considered to be one of richest politicians in India.He is the founder of a private security company with operations in India and Australia.
Sinha is a minority shareholder and director of SIS Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd., a subsidiary of Security and Intelligence Services, registered in Malta in 2008. Sinha did not declare the company in nominations papers submitted to the election commission in 2014.
Responding to this, Sinha shared he has “no direct interest” in SIS Asia Pacific Holdings and that he holds one share in the entity “on behalf” of SIS, “and not in my personal capacity.”
For this reason, his 2014 declaration mentions only his interest in the parent group, Sinha told ICIJ and its partner The Indian Express.
On the other hand, Jayant Sinha became the minister of civil aviation following a two-year stint as finance minister. He was linked to the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
In 2010, acting as an Omidyar Network representative, Jayant was appointed to the board of directors of D.Light Design, a Californian solar power company that received $5.5 million from the philanthropic investment firm and other investors, according to ICIJ.
In a company document dated December 2012, Sinha appears as one of the signatories of a board resolution approving a $3 million loan from a Dutch fund to D.Light’s Cayman subsidiary.
However, Jayant claimed that he was on the board of D.Light Design until 2014 and signed financial documents as part of his duty. During his last year on the board he was an independent director and received consulting fees and D.Light shares that he has disclosed, he said.