Panama Papers: Amins of Alembic set up BVI firm to buy and rent London property

The stated purpose of setting up the offshore entity was acquiring and holding property in London and commercial renting, MF records show.

Written by P Vaidyanathan Iyer | New Delhi | Updated: May 6, 2016 7:06:09 am
Chirayu-amin-759 Chirayu Amin. (Source: PTI/File)

Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd promoter Chirayu Amin and his family members — Malika Amin, Pranav Amin, Shaunak Amin and Udit Amin — are listed as beneficiaries of Whitefield Global Investments Ltd, which was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on October 1, 2015, according to records maintained by Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Chirayu Amin is the chairman and managing director of Vadodara-based Alembic Pharmaceuticals, which registered a turnover of Rs 3,148.71 crore in 2015-16. Pranav Amin and Udit Amin are joint managing directors in the company.

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The Amin family invested in the offshore entity after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) opened a window for companies to be floated abroad under the Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) window in August 2013. Under the ODI route, a company owned by resident Indians can invest up to 400 per cent of its net worth in an offshore entity.

An eight-month investigation by The Indian Express, in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), into the Mossack Fonseca (MF) files shows that in September 2015, Mumbai-based chartered accountant firm PP Shah & Associates, acting on behalf of the Amins, sought to incorporate Whitefield in the BVI.

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The stated purpose of setting up the offshore entity was acquiring and holding property in London and commercial renting, MF records show.

The value of assets to be held on behalf of the company was estimated at more than $ 1 million, and the source of funds was stated as “capital or loan from shareholder”. The BVI company also wished to open a bank account in London, records show.

While the beneficial owners of Whitefield were the Amin family members, the shareholder of the company was another entity, Techno Global Trade & Investments Ltd, incorporated in UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority. The power of attorney (PoA) for the BVI company was issued for three years to Dubai-based Viralkumar Hasmukhbhai Doshi, who is employed with SP Shah Consultants DMCC.

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On September 30, 2015, Lizet Moreno and Jose Jaime Melendez were named as directors of Whitefield, records show.

When contacted, Chirayu Amin’s office stated in an email: “All our overseas investments are fully compliant with relevant FEMA and RBI regulations and have been duly disclosed to the regulators.”

Amin told The Indian Express that Whitefield did not have any relation with Alembic Pharmaceuticals. “The shareholder Techno Global Trade & Investments, a company incorporated in Ras Al Khaimah, is owned by me and my family. Small investments have been made in the BVI company through the overseas direct investment (ODI) route. The remittances made are small,” said Amin.

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