A year after sensational Panama Papers leak, another huge new leak, dubbed as Paradise Papers leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen Elizabeth of Britain and many Indian cooperates have secretly invested vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens. Donald Trump’s commerce secretary is also shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US. The revelations on the Indians’ names also come just two days before the Centre’s Narendra Modi government has decided to commemorate anti-black money day while marking the one year of demonetization. The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance. BBC Panorama is part of nearly 100 media groups investigating the papers, reported BBC.
Among the 180 countries represented in the data, India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names, reported The Indian Express. In all, there are 714 Indians in the tally. Interestingly, it’s an Indian company, Sun Group, founded by Nand Lal Khemka, that figures as Appleby’s second-largest client internationally, with as many as 118 different offshore entities. These include firms in the Sun-TV-Aircel-Maxis case; Essar-Loop 2G case; SNC-Lavalin in which Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was named, 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 firm respectively); and fresh financial links in a CBI case against YSR Congress Chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.