A multi-agency group (MAG) will probe into the ‘Paradise Papers’ on financial holdings abroad that lists a number of 714 Indian individuals and entities, PTI reported on Monday quoting official sources. The Paradise Papers is a cache of 13.4 million documents obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and investigated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in partnership with The Indian Express. It reveals how two firms Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti Trust help the global rich and powerful move their money abroad.
Updating on the Panama Papers probe, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said it is going on in full swing. It added that till date a total of Rs 792 crore of undisclosed income has been detected.
The MAG is probing the Panama Papers leak as well. According to the sources the MAG, constituted in April last year to investigate the legality of money stashed in offshore entities by Indians named in the Panama Papers, would probe the latest disclosure made by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
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The group comprises of officials from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Income Tax Department, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Financial Intelligence Unit and the RBI among a few others. The panel will first “go through” the details of income tax returns filed by the Indian individuals and entities named and subsequently take action, in a case-to-case basis, the sources said. “Obviously, notices will be issued once complicity of an individual or entity is established,” a senior official said.
The leaked documents from Bermuda-based global offshore law firm Appleby and Singapore-based Asiaciti, published by the ICIJ, revealed offsore investments by the high and mighty across the world. The investments appear among a leak of 13.4 million files from the two firms and company registries of 19 tax havens.
The vast leak of financial papers has details on 180 countries. India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names. However, the names mentioned in the list does not mean that such entities have indulged in stash funds or have generated black money without paying due taxes.