First Panama seizure: Top Delhi jeweller’s deposits

Panama Papers: Data shows that in several of these companies incorporated by Mossack Fonseca, there was a fresh allotment of shares and, therefore, enhanced holdings among members of the Mehra family, first in 2011, then 2013 and, finally, March 2015.

Written by Ritu Sarin | New Delhi | Updated: June 16, 2017 8:11 am
Panama Papers, Panama Papers probe, Panama Papers seizure, Ashwani Kumar Mehra, india news Panama Papers: An estimated Rs 10.54 crore is still illegally parked outside India by the said persons, the ED press release stated.

Fourteen months after the Panama Papers probe in April 2016, the first case of substantial seizures has been effected by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which issued orders for freezing Rs 7-crore worth of movable assets of Delhi-based jeweller Ashwani Kumar Mehra and members of his family.

ED officials told The Indian Express that more such seizures linked to the Panama Papers investigation — an expose of off-shore companies by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism-Suddeutsche Zeitung and The Indian Express — are in the offing and members of the Mehra family had admitted to alleged violations under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS).

The Mehrasons case is among the 49 routed to ED by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in the wake of the Panama Papers probe and the agency has alleged that the LRS route was misused by the Mehras by converting remittances into interest-free loans to companies located in British Virgin Islands and, from there, to a company in the UAE also linked to them.”

An estimated Rs 10.54 crore is still illegally parked outside India by the said persons, the ED press release stated. Leaked records of Mossack Fonseca had shown that since the year 1999, Ashwani Kumar Mehra and members of his family had registered seven off-shore firms in the BVI and Bahamas with the flagship company, PTC Group Limited, being nominated as either secretary or shareholder in the other companies.

Some offshore entities linked to the family — their registration documents, shareholding certificates and resolutions form part of the leaked records — are Maxhill Holdings Ltd, Univi Corporate Limited, AEH Services Ltd and Stonebay International Limited.

Data shows that in several of these companies incorporated by Mossack Fonseca, there was a fresh allotment of shares and, therefore, enhanced holdings among members of the Mehra family, first in 2011, then 2013 and, finally, March 2015.

For instance, in Maxhill Holdings Limited, the authorized capital of the company was increased from $50,000 to $200,000 in March 2015. Also, closer to the allegations made now by the ED, other documents show that for Stonebay International Limited, a resolution was passed on March 4, 2014 allowing the company to borrow funds from Maxhill Holdings Ltd and permit the shareholders to repay earlier loans.

It is this intra-company rotation of money and grant of interest-free loans to members of the family which ED has listed as an alleged violation of regulations and recorded its first seizure under the amended Section 37 A (1)of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.

The amendment stipulated that in case of a violation, property of an equivalent value could be seized by the agency. In this case, assets of the business group to the tune of Rs 7 crore will be seized from bank accounts.

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  1. R
    Rajaram V.V.
    Jun 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm
    Nothing is going to happen until these bodies like ED, IT, CBI, RAW etc are made independent and answerable to people only. Like wise, the totally corrupt judiciary should be subjected to scrutiny by people. Then only things are going to happen. There are enough evidences against all top politicians, babu's and industrialist but these bodies are dragging their feet
    Reply
    1. S
      Srinivasan.C
      Jun 16, 2017 at 8:05 pm
      Couldn't agree with you more!
      Reply
    2. A
      asim
      Jun 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm
      What about Amitabh Bachaan. His name too figured in Panama case. But the govt has shielded him . There are several fake companies created and owned by the bachaans there to divert the black money as per the panama leaks repots, but as usual they denied and govt accepted it on face value.
      Reply
      1. K
        KS KUMAR
        Jun 16, 2017 at 5:29 pm
        If it is true why Manmohan and Sonia were silent for 10 years.
        Reply
      2. I
        Iqbal SIngh
        Jun 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm
        : indianexpress /article/world/ stan-pm-nawaz-sharif-to-appear-before-panama-papers-probe-panel-on-june-15-4699758/
        Reply
        1. I
          Iqbal SIngh
          Jun 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm
          stan is investigating their PM and we are after our shopkeepers
          Reply
          1. K
            Kamal Pasha
            Jun 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm
            What about Gujrat-based gold and diamond merchants, the friends of Modi. Are they innocents? And the billionaires from South who own big businesses in the Middle East with big shopping malls and gold/diamonds supers outlets?
            Reply
            1. D
              Damodar Biswal
              Jun 16, 2017 at 11:03 am
              Thank god.Finally the money trail could be established.What about others?
              Reply
              1. V
                Vijayan
                Jun 16, 2017 at 10:28 am
                Encouraging, when will all be recovered
                Reply
                1. K
                  Kamal Pasha
                  Jun 16, 2017 at 5:22 pm
                  Vijayan : When Bombay blast case took 24 years, you can imagine how long thsec cases will take.
                  Reply
                2. A
                  AB
                  Jun 16, 2017 at 8:05 am
                  Is it a joke, Mehrasons has just deposited Rs. 7 Crore.. what a hogwash kind of investigation
                  Reply
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