SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — India’s central government said Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for the creation of a multi-agency group to investigate the Panama Papers leak — Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, and DLF CEO KP Singh are among 500 Indians on a list of global figures incriminated in the documents.
The group will include members of the Reserve Bank of India, Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the Ministry of Finance, according to a statement. The group will monitor the flow of information in each one of the cases related to India, and the government will “take all necessary actions as required to get maximum information from all sources, including from foreign governments, to help in the investigation process,” the statement added.
“I welcome such investigations and exposes. More revelations are expected according to media reports…Whichever accounts are found unlawful, strict action will be taken against them,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The leak of millions of documents from a Panama-based law firm revealed the hidden offshore wealths of some of the country’s most famous celebrities and some of the world’s top leaders. Major international names include Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his family, and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi. The documents were leaked by an anonymous source to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
According to a report from The Indian Express, several of the South Asians named paid the law firm to set up offshore accounts in the world’s various tax havens — the news is extremely incriminating, as it violates India law. The report alleges that some bypassed laws by claiming “companies acquired are not the same as companies incorporated,” while others earned money abroad and kept it in tax-friendly countries rather than bringing it to India. In some extreme instances, some even kept money in special accounts designated for payoffs and bribes.