Centre to probe 'Pandora Papers'

Centre to probe Pandora Papers
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Centre to probe Pandora Papers

Highlights

The Union government on Monday directed investigations to be carried out in relation to 'Pandora Paper' leaks that revealed secret wealth and illegal investments of hundreds of politicians, businessmen and celebrities across the world, including Indians.

New Delhi: The Union government on Monday directed investigations to be carried out in relation to 'Pandora Paper' leaks that revealed secret wealth and illegal investments of hundreds of politicians, businessmen and celebrities across the world, including Indians.

The investigation will be carried out by a multi-agency group headed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman. It will also comprise representatives from CBDT, Enforcement Directorate, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Financial Intelligence Unit, the official spokesperson of the tax authority said.

"The relevant investigative agencies would undertake investigation in these cases and appropriate action would be taken in such cases as per law," according to the Union Finance Ministry. The government will also proactively engage with foreign jurisdictions for obtaining information in respect of relevant taxpayers/entities.

As many as 380 Indians are on the list of the global elite who have been exposed for ringfencing their wealth through shadowy financial transactions and using offshore tax havens to hide assets worth millions of dollars.

Nearly 12 million documents purportedly throwing light on the secret, 'ill-gotten' wealth of the rich and famous, including Indians, were made public on Sunday as part of the 'Pandora Papers' probe.

A total of 2.94 terabytes of files came from companies hired by wealthy clients to allegedly create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

The names that the papers claim to expose include 330-odd politicians of more than 90 countries — from people in Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle to close aides and financial backers of Pakistan PM Imran Khan.

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