A year after the Panama Papers leaked out the financial data of several individuals, including former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the ‘Paradise Papers’ have released 13.4 million leaked documents of corporate data.
The two main firms in the leaks are Appleby, a Bermuda-based organisation, and Asia City that is based out of Singapore. The report has identified the corporate history and connection of these two firms with several offshore companies, as reported by the Indian Express in partnership with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Among the 180 countries in the data, India is ranked at 19, with 714 Indians in the tally. The Sun Group, founded by Nand Lal Khemka figures in Appleby’s second-largest international client with 118 different offshore entities, the report added. 66,000 files relating to India have been listed in the Paradise Paper leak, as compared to the 37,000 that were listed in the Panama Papers scandal. The new set of names include former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Congress leader Sachin Pilot, and P Chidambaram’s son Karti. Others included are MoS Jayant Sinha, Dr Ashok Seth, the chairman of Fortis-Escorts, actor Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt’s wife Manyata, corporate lobbyist Nira Radia, and liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
A 119-year-old company, Appleby is a leading member of the global network of lawyers, accountants, bankers and other operatives who set up offshore companies and manage bank accounts for clients to do one or a combination of the following: avoid or evade taxes; manage real estate assets; open escrow accounts; purchase airplanes and yachts paying low tax rates; or, simply, use offshore vehicles to move millions across the globe.